Friday, July 22, 2011

what netanyahu has done for peace. Now PA, your turn Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg

Interviewer: The Palestinians say that you have left them no choice in fact but to go to the United make a bid for statehood.
PM Netanyahu: I challenge the premise and the question, because here's what I did. The first day that I came in I called for direct negotiations without preconditions. Shortly afterwards I lifted 400 roadblocks and checkpoints, allowing the growth of the Palestinian economy. Third, I called for two states for two peoples in my speech in Bar-Ilan University. Fourth, I agreed on a freeze on new construction in the settlements. Fifth, I agreed with President Obama, if necessary, for another three-month extension of the freeze. So these are five things I did. I think we've shown we really want the negotiations to come.
We've just wasted two years on a non-issue or an issue that has to be negotiated, the settlements. The entire built-up area of the settlements takes up 2% of the West Bank. It doesn't gobble up the West Bank, it doesn't preempt the map of a Palestinian state. It's a side issue.
I think that the Palestinians are missing a great opportunity. There is a government here and a prime minister here who, exactly contrary to the received wisdom, is able to deliver a peace settlement and wants to deliver the peace settlement. You can't do it if you're a marginal party in Israel or if you don't represent the large consensus. [Menachem] Begin did it once and I can do it again, but I need a partner.

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