Israeli paper, Haaretz, reported Friday that Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, believes that there can be no peace agreement with the Palestinians unless they recognize Israel as a state for the Jewish people. The paper said that, during his recent trip to Rome, Netanyahu told its reporter that he does not foresee a solution with the Palestinians, not now not ever, and added, “as long as the Palestinians refuse to recognize Israel as a national religious Jewish state, there can be no solution to the conflict”.
As for the size of the future Palestinian “state” and its borders, Netanyahu said, “Israel will neither fight for a few kilometers, nor for vast areas, as long as the state of Israel remains the national homeland of the Jews, regarding of its size”.
“The conflict cannot be solved, it is not a conflict on land that can be resolved by giving up a couple of kilometers here and there”, Netanyahu said, “it is a rooted conflict that extends far beyond that, if Abu Mazen (Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas) fails to recognize Israel as a Jewish State, there can never be any path for an agreement”.
Opposition leader in Israel, Tzipi Livni, slammed in its recent speech at the Knesset, the policies of Netanyahu and said that he is “burying Israel’s chances to live in peace”, and that “a solution can be reached by making tough decisions”.
On Friday, President Mahmoud Abbas called on the European Union to support the Palestinian bid to declare a state at the United Nations this coming September.
The AFP reported that Palestinian chief negotiator, Dr. Saeb Erekat, stated that President Abbas held a meeting with EU Foreign Policy Chief, Catherine Ashton, and told her that the Palestinians are determined to resume the peace process with Israel.
Abbas told Ashton that Netanyahu must return to the negotiations table, and must stop all of Israel’s settlement activities in the occupied territories, including in occupied East Jerusalem.
The Palestine News and Info Agency, WAFA, reported that Erekat called on the European Union to support the Palestinians at the United Nations when they declare an independent state based on the 1967 borders.
Ashton’s meeting with Abbas and Erekat came after her meeting with Israeli Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, in occupied Jerusalem.
During the meeting, Lieberman, head of the extremist Yisrael Beiteinu (Israeli Our Home) Party, threatened that Israel will declare all peace deals signed with the Palestinians as void should they proceed to declare a state at the United Nations.
According to a report by Haaretz, Lieberman stated that “Israel will not be obliged by any of the peace agreements signed over the last 18 years”, adding that “the stances of President Mahmoud Abbas indicate that he is not interested in a peace deal with Israel”.
Lieberman also claimed that Abbas is leading the area into a new confrontation with Tel Aviv, and that the Palestinian leader has personal interests that contradict the Palestinian interests, and the interests of those who oppose him.
It is worth mentioning that Ashton recently sent a letter to the United Nations, the United States and Russia asking them to hold an urgent Quartet meeting.
Last Tuesday, Lieberman declared his rejection to a European initiative calling for resuming Palestinian-Israeli peace talks based on the speech of U.S. President Barack Obama.