The Israeli prime minister tells reporters he wouldn’t ‘uproot’ a single Israeli. Netanyahu’s office later explains that the object of the new demand is to score points against the Palestinian Authority by ‘exposing its real face.’
A couple of statements from Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu are adding to the confusion over the kind of solution he envisions, if he supports one at all.
Answering a question from a reporter in Davos regarding the possible evacuation of Jordan Valley settlements – Israel seeks to keep IDF forces along the Jordan River even after any withdrawal – Netanyahu said that he “wouldn’t uproot a single Israeli” as part of a peace deal.
Haaretz, which was the first to report the comment, used caution, allowing readers to understand that Netanyahu might have referred to the settlements in the Jordan Valley, and not the evacuation of any settlement. Yesterday (Sunday), however, Israel Hayom, which keeps its reporting in line with the prime minister’s spin at all times, used the broad interpretation, allowing readers to understand that Netanyahu will not forcefully evacuate settlers regardless of their location.
Later that day came a sort of explanation, when a source in the Prime Minister’s Office, who spoke on condition of anonymity but on the record, told the Israeli media that Netanyahu would like settlers to have the option to remain in the settlements after the establishment of a Palestinian state. The source didn’t explain what arrangement Netanyahu envisioned for the settlers: whether they would remain under Israeli control or accept Palestinian sovereignty.
Sure enough, the settlers were quick to attack the prime minister for his latest “capitulation.” That’s part of Israel’s political theater: no matter how hawkish the government is, there will always be someone to its right. The truth is that it doesn’t really matter. In previous weeks Netanyahu has raised just about any possible idea that could make the notion of a Palestinian state meaningless. First it was the demand for Israeli to be recognized “as a Jewish state” (rather than to just recognize the State of...Read More