Netanyahu Backtracks On Palestine Again, Only His Actions Suggest Otherwise
Yesterday I posted an analysis of the 2015 Israeli elections. In it, I discussed Netanyahu’s comments about him not supporting a Palestinian state. Individuals reacted a couple of ways to this news. For some, they believed it was him merely trying to get the votes of the right in Israel. Yet to others, it was a statement of what he really feels about the situation.
Now, essentially overnight, he is moving away from the comments about there not being a Palestinian state. And some are continuing to say that this was expected, and that we can now get back to the peace process. The problem with this is that regardless of Netanyahu says, he is continuing to carry out policies that are hurtful to the chances of a Palestinian state; he continues to allow settlements to be built in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
So, as some such as Richard Falk have just recently argued, with his statements, at least we know how he feels, so that we don’t have to waste time trying to make peace–and establish a two-state solution with a leader that has no interest in actually allowing such a state to develop. Falk also points out by referencing another thinker on this issue, saying that “As a prominent Israeli think tank figure, Grin Grinstein, put it, now that Netanyahu is securely elected, he can shift attention to his legacy and will want to avoid Israel’s international isolation. “I would not rule out his going back to the two-state solution,” Grinstein said.”
I recommend that you read Falk’s piece, as he talks about how some on the right are now referencing these peace talks, but that they have done little to actually help the Palestinians all of these years. I believe that this is exactly what Netanyahu and his supporters are doing. By claiming to want a peace agreement, they can they continue to blame other actors for any “failure” of the talks (“failure may not be the right term, since it seems to imply a chance for success). There is little to think that he will allow a Palestinian state.
So, whether Netanyahu takes back his statements about not allowing a Palestinian state will not change my opinion on this matter. In order to believe Netanyahu that he actually is committed to a two-state solution, he needs to prove it with actions, which should first be the ending of all settlement construction. However, unless he is willing to do this, does it really matter whether he says he would want a two-state solution or now? I don’t believe that it does.