Netayahu takes a stab at defining what he means by "national state of the Jewish people"

Two days before the second set of “direct” Israeli-Palestinian talks is due to start in Sharm ash-Sheikh, Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu made these public remarks during the weekly meeting of his Cabinet in Jerusalem on Sunday — taking a stab at defining what he means when he says Palestinians must recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people [this formulation is Netanyahu’s own improvement over the shorthand version used by previous Israeli Prime Ministers, beginning with Ariel Sharon, who have insisted that Palestinians should recognize Israel as a “Jewish State” — though, as can be seen below, Netanyahu slips this formulation in, as well].

Netanyahu said on Sunday that: “A peace agreement is based – first of all – on the recognition of Israel as the national state of the Jewish People. The conflict between us and the Palestinians, as opposed to other conflicts that were resolved by peace agreements, is over the same piece of ground. We say that the solution is two states for two peoples, meaning two national states, a Jewish national state and a Palestinian national state. To my regret, I have yet to hear from the Palestinians the phrase ‘two states for two peoples’. I hear them saying ‘two states’ but I do not hear them recognizing two states for two peoples. In 1947, David Ben-Gurion wrote in his diary, and I quote: ‘The state to be established will be Jewish in its role, its designation and its goal. Not a state of Jews who live in the country, but a state for the Jews, for the Jewish People.’ It is clear that his intention was that there would be full equality of civil rights in the Jewish national state, as indeed is the case in the State of Israel, but the foundation of the State of Israel is that it is the national state of the Jewish People. This is the true basis for an end to claims against the State of Israel and for the end of the conflict between the two peoples. Just as we are asked to recognize the Palestinian national state, and I expressed this national agreement during the past year, we also demand and expect the Palestinians to recognize a Jewish state, the State of Israel, as the national state of the Jewish People. This is the true foundation of peace“.

This is the time for the Palestinian negotiators to take on this matter, and ask for international guarantees…

Meanwhile, according to a summary translation provided by the Israeli Government Press Office, Nachum Barnea wrote an opinion piece published today in Yediot Ahronot saying that, “According to Netanyahu’s remarks yesterday, it seems that he has chosen to make the demand to recognize Israel as the Jewish state into the issue, and thus put Abu Mazen in a corner: Abu Mazen will say [insist on] the [settlement] freeze, Netanyahu will say recognition. Both will refuse and thus will be created a balance of blame.”

UPDATE: YNET is reporting on Monday evening that Tuesday’s scheduled talks in Sharm ash-Sheikh are getting off to a bad start. A subheadline reads: “Statement on restarting direct negotiations expected to be postponed”, and the text of the story reports that “The [Israeli] Prime Minister’s Office announced Monday that the media events scheduled to take place during the summit have been cancelled … A press conference sponsored by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, which was slated to take place at the Hayatt Hotel has also been canceled … [T]he differences of opinion between Israel and the Palestinians do not allow a festive announcement. The disagreements between Israel and the Palestinians have grown stronger over the past few days, particularly in terms of the settlement construction problem. US President Barack Obama declared over the weekend that he would make it clear to Netanyahu that Israel must continue the settlement freeze as long as the direct negotiations go on. In response, Netanyahu announced during a Likud ministers’ meeting and during his meeting with Quartet envoy Tony Blair that Israel would not be able to continue the freeze, but that the construction would be restrained”. This report can be read in full here.

According to this YNet report, the U.S. State Department has announced that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be in Jerusalem for further talks on Wednesday, and will then visit the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah on Thursday.

4 thoughts on “Netayahu takes a stab at defining what he means by "national state of the Jewish people"”

  1. An easy way to do it would be to re-write the PLO Charter such that Palestinian Jews are recognized as a separate nation (“umma”) whose national state “qawmiyya” is “Isra’il”. But that won’t happen. And Palestinian Jews like me, who have seen everyone and everything, however sick we are of Netanyahu, are especially sick of people like you, hidden European Islamist-Palestinian nationalists, which is why no one listens to you.

  2. I don’t know what you mean by settling things “otherwise”, but it sounds rather threatening.

    Nor do I know what you think you can do, exactly, to keep me marginalized.

    But I’m allowing you comment to appear to show just what kind of person you are, and how you — and obsessive bullies like you — operate, and how you deal with people you think you don’t agree with…

    You have in no way “seen everyone and everything”.

    How much courage does it take to make your threats anonymously?

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