‘Israel will become bi-national without peace’

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at the weekly cabinet meeting, March 10, 2013.Photo: Pool/Maariv

Netanyahu says conflict is not about territory, but about Palestinians’ reluctance to recognize Israel as nation state of the Jews.

Israel needs to reach peace with the Palestinians to prevent becoming a bi-national state, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Wednesday, stressing – however – that the core of Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians is not territory, but a Palestinian unwillingness to recognize Israel’s legitimacy within any boundaries.

Netanyahu’s comments at a meeting with top Foreign Ministry officials comes amid signs of revived motion on the Palestinian track.

“The root of the conflict is not territorial,” he said at the meeting, his first with the Foreign Ministry since the elections and his assumption of the foreign ministerial mantle until the fate of Avigdor Liberman is determined in court.

“It started long before 1967. You saw what happened when we left Gaza. We uprooted the last settler, and what did we get in return? Missiles,” he said.

Netanyahu’s comments came just days after the Arab League officials indicated, after meetings in the US with Vice President Joe Biden and US Secretary of State John Kerry, that they would accept in their Arab Peace Initiative a slight modification to the 1967 lines as part of an Israel-Palestinian peace accord.

“The unwillingness of the Palestinians to recognize Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people is the root of the conflict,” he said. “If we reach an agreement I want to know that the conflict does not continue, that there are no other Palestinian claims afterward.”

Netanyahu urged the Foreign Ministry workers to stress that the root of the conflict is Acre, Jaffa, and Ashkelon.  “You need to say that,” he said. “There is no need to apologize, you need to tell the truth.”


This is a copy of the full article provided by The Jerusalem Post

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