If you’ve been paying attention to the news over the last couple of days you’ve no doubt seen the headlines screaming “Netanyahu Says Yes to Palestinian State”… As is all to often the case you have to wade through several paragraphs to get the substance of what Prime Minister Netanyahu said. He did not give an emphatic yes to a Palestinian State, what he did was lay out the conditions under which Israel could accept a Palestinian State.
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu can wait a thousand years without finding a single Palestinian prepared to accept his offer, a senior Palestinian negotiator said late Sunday after Netanyahu in a policy speech laid down conditions under which Israel would accept a Palestinian state.
The two key conditions, the conservative prime minister said, were Palestinian recognition of Israel as the national homeland for the Jewish people; and a requirement that a future Palestinian state would be demilitarized.
Acceptance of a Palestinian state is a departure for Netanyahu. Speaking at Bar Ilan University outside Tel Aviv, he made it clear that it came with red lines.
On the first, Netanyahu said, refusal to recognize the Jewish people’s right to a state in their historical homeland was “the root of the conflict.” The “public, binding and sincere” acknowledgment by the Palestinians of that right was therefore a “fundamental condition for ending the conflict.”
On the second condition, Netanyahu said there was broad agreement in Israel that a future Palestinian state could not be militarized.
“Without this condition, there is a real fear that there will be an armed Palestinian state which will become a terrorist base against Israel, as happened in Gaza,” he said.
Such a state – “another Hamastan” – could makes military treaties with Iran or Hezbollah and import weapons and missiles.
A Palestinian state could have no army, and no control over its airspace, and effective measures would have to be put in place to prevent arms from entering, Netanyahu said.
On two other key final status questions, he said Jerusalem would remain Israel’s unified capital, and Palestinian refugees could not be settled within Israel’s future borders. Netanyahu recalled that as the young and “tiny” state of Israel had absorbed “hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees from Arab countries who were uprooted from their homes.” The problem of Arab refugees could similarly be solved, he said, implying that the refugees could be accommodated in the Palestinian state and/or neighboring Arab countries. Read the rest…
Despite the media headlines nothing has changed… The Palestinians will never recognize Israel as the national homeland for the Jewish people and consequently they will never have an independent Palestinian.