Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday raised concerns that he may again crumble under American pressure to surrender Israel’s biblical heartland when he told the Knesset that his government will abide by past agreements.
Netanyahu suggested that he cannot take a hard line on Israel’s ancient land claims and garner the support of Western powers against the Iranian threat, and that in order to ensure Israel’s future, he must make compromises now.
But Netanyahu did insist that Israel’s compliance with signed peace agreements will be dependent on reciprocity from the Palestinians, though many Israelis remember that during his first stint as prime minister from 1996-1998 Netanyahu quickly fell victim to pressure from former US President Bill Clinton to make concessions despite ongoing Palestinian terror.
US President Barack Obama appears to be laying out a similar course, with media reports indicating that during his visit to the region next month, the American leader will declare a firm timetable for the creation of a sovereign Palestinian state.
Rather than go along with Obama’s plans in order to gain allies against Iran, Minister of Strategic Affairs Moshe Yaalon, a close confidante of Netanyahu, says Israel today has an opportunity to finally “free itself from the failed paradigm of the two-state solution.”
Speaking at a gathering of government ministers and Knesset members determined to find an alternative path to peace and security, Yaalon noted that the Arabs are never going to truly recognize Israel’s right to exist, but under the current policies they will get a state anyway. Furthermore, it is almost a certainty that a Palestinian state will be hostile toward Israel, either immediately or in the near future, and is therefore not a viable solution to the conflict.
Yaalon said Israel’s original mistake was to enter peace talks with the PLO, the terrorist organization that became the Palestinian Authority and has never accept Israel as a legitimate entity, even though Israel has recognized it as the sole representative of the Palestinian Arabs.
What Israel must now do, said Yaalon, is cut ties with the PA and begin again from square one, but this time focus on long-term crisis management rather than trying to conjure up a peace partner that just isn’t currently there. In the meantime, Israel should annex and assert its rightful sovereignty over the biblical lands of Judea and Samaria.