Israel: Netanyahu rejects compromise with Palestinians

By Jean Shaoul | wsws.og, 16 June 2009

Israel’s premier, Benyamin Netanyahu, has made clear that his government is not interested in reaching any agreement with the Palestinians.

Netanyahu’s speech was billed as his response to US President Barack Obama’s call in Cairo on June 4 for the creation of a Palestinian state and the end of new settlements on the West Bank. It was delivered before an invited audience at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar Ilan University, near Tel Aviv, an academic stronghold of the religious right.

Netanyahu stated unequivocally that the establishment of a Palestinian “state” was dependent upon the Palestinians’ acquiescence to a series of Israeli demands, which together strip the putative entity of any of the normal attributes of a state.

These demands were dressed up as Israeli “principles.” The first principle and “fundamental condition” was that the Palestinians recognise not just the state of Israel, but its character as “the state of the Jewish people.” This meant that Palestinian refugees who were either forced out their homes in 1948, or who fled in 1967, would not be allowed to return to Israel.

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