Posted by Newsmax on July 14, 2014 in News Clips
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who for years has been on record supporting the idea of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, appears to have abandoned the idea, according to The Times of Israel.
"He made explicitly clear that he could never, ever, countenance a fully sovereign Palestinian state in the West Bank," the Times reported.
While he did not renounce support for the two-state solution, his comments reflected a view that he believes such a state is no longer a possibility after Israel repeatedly evacuated Arab territories only for it to come under the control of Palestinian extremists with rockets.
"He indicated that he sees Israel standing almost alone on the front lines against vicious Islamic radicalism, while the rest of the as-yet free world does its best not to notice the march of extremism. And he more than intimated that he considers the current American, John Kerry-led diplomatic team to be, let's be polite, naïve," the Times said.
The Atlantic magazine noted that Netanyahu said earlier this year that he was concerned about vacated territories becoming an "Iranian proxy." "We want a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes the nation-state of the Jews," he said at the time.
But after the recent round of violence it appears Netanyahu has had a change in perspective.
According to Jeffrey Goldberg, national correspondent for The Atlantic, Netanyahu's current position does not bode well for resolving the conflict in the Middle East.
"Netanyahu's admission that he doesn't see a path to a truly independent Palestinian state serves no purpose except to convince that diminishing number of Palestinians who believe that the two-state solution is the best solution that they have no partner for compromise. As such, Netanyahu's comments are the rhetorical equivalent of settlement expansion in the West Bank," Goldberg wrote.
He added that while the threat of Palestinian extremism is real, the two-state solution is still the best, and probably only, way forward.
"I remain convinced that creative minds, and large-hearted people, can eventually devise a way to bring about a semi-amicable divorce between Israelis and Palestinians in a way that protects the security and dignity of both peoples. The fact that divorce is the only option that doesn't end in total disaster should also encourage the prime minister to think harder about the choices facing his country."
Goldberg's view is in line with that of both Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz and Arab American Institute President James Zogby who, in a heated debate Friday on Newsmax TV on the escalating violence between Israel and Hamas, agreed that a two-state solution was the only way forward.