Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Yaalon on Monday praised the peace policy speech given by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a day earlier for exposing the true root of the Israeli-Arab conflict: the Arabs’ long refusal to accept Israel as the national homeland of the Jews.
Speaking to Army Radio, Yaalon said that Netanyahu’s speech had unmasked Palestinian rejectionism. Yaalon repeated Netanyahu in noting that Israel has surrendered large areas of land to the Palestinians already, only to receive increased terrorism in return, thus proving that the conflict isn’t really over a few scraps of land.
While Netanyahu disappointed many of his right-wing backers by supporting the eventual creation of a Palestinian state, he put such conditions on that outcome that it is very likely to never become a reality.
First, Netanyahu was adamant, and spent much of his speech demanding that the root of the conflict highlighted above be addressed, that the Arabs explicitly recognize Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people before any final status peace deal is considered.
Second, Netanyahu firmly and repeatedly stated that his government will only ever agree to the establishment of a demilitarized Palestinian state, as the only purpose for such a state to have weapons would be to threaten Israel.
And third, Netanyahu was clear that major Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria will not be uprooted to make room for a Palestinian state, nor will that state be given even one inch of Jerusalem as its capital.
The above conditions have all been roundly rejected by the Arabs in the past, leading many Israeli commentators to note that while Netanyahu is representing Israel’s initial core peace demands in a way that former prime ministers failed, he has effectively and indefinitely stalled progress in the land-for-peace process.