I have been discussing whether Netanyahu is just playing the game or reaally intends to try to make a deal even if the concessions are painful. One very knowledgeable academic believes that Bibi is ready for an act of “constructive unilateralism”. One journalist believes Bibi is just playing the game. . Whether Bibi means it or is just playing the game, I am against him either way. Two days ago Stienitz came out against Peres for the remarks he made. And now Steinitz is saying the government is in favour of the two-state solution. Notice that he didn’t say along ’67 lines. The Palestinians on’t accept anything less that a solution based on ’67 lines. So is Steinitz just playing the game on Bibi’s orders. Ted Belman
A senior cabinet minister on Tuesday endorsed the two-state solution as a framework for solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, rebutting Palestinian claims that the government has no unified position on the issue.
“The government’s position is very clear, and I support it: We do support [a] two states for two peoples solution,” Minister of Intelligence, International Relations and Strategic Affairs Yuval Steinitz told The Times of Israel. “We are ready to make painful concessions on two conditions: that there will be peace and security”
A member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, Steinitz acknowledged that key members of the governing coalition are staunchly supposed to a two-state solution – “but this is not that important,” he said. “Because after all it’s the government’s positions, and especially the prime minister’s positions, that matter. And Prime Minister Netanyahu made it very clear — and I think most of us support his position — but he made it very clear that this government is in favor of two states for two people solution, [under] two conditions: that it will be real peace and real security.”
Speaking from Jordan on Monday, where he had attended the World Economic Forum along with a host of world leaders, businessmen and politicians, senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat had charged that the current Israeli government and its head did not support the two-state solution based on the 1967 lines.
“I know you are a democracy, I know you have a [governing] coalition, but usually a coalition has a program,” Erekat said. “I hope to hear from the prime minister that he accepts, to reflect the majority of Israelis, two states on the 1967 borders.”
Genuine peace would entail a “real recognition” of Israel as a Jewish state and the end of all claims and incitement against Israel, Steinitz said, speaking on the sidelines of a conference in Jerusalem. Israel’s security requirements include a “total demilitarization” of a future Palestinian state. Jerusalem would have the right to supervise and control that arrangement in order to be able to prevent arms smuggling or “any other negative security developments in the West Bank,” the minister said.