Netanyahu: No Peace With Palestinians Without Mutual Recognition and Demilitarization
Jerusalem (TPS) – In a speech at the Knesset on February 10, Prime Minister Netanyahu elaborated upon the vision of a peace agreement with the Palestinians that he spoke of in a speech at Bar Ilan University seven years ago.
Netanyahu stressed that his acceptance of a two-state solution with the Palestinian Authority rests upon two necessary conditions.
“The first principle is mutual recognition,” said the prime minister. “The Palestinians demand that we recognize a national state of theirs and they will also have to recognize our national state in any peace agreement. It is only natural for them to give us what they wish for themselves.”
Netanyahu’s second prerequisite in his two-state vision was a demilitarized Palestinian state. “The Palestinian areas must be demilitarized of forces hostile to Israel,” Netanyahu emphasized.
Netanyahu specified that these two prerequisites did not preclude negotiations from ever occurring.
“I want to clarify once again for the thousandth time that I did not condition the start of negotiations on the acceptance of these principles. Rather, I made it clear that in order to complete the negotiations successfully, these principles had to be fulfilled,” noted Netanyahu.
Prime Minister Netanyahu added that demilitarization could only be enforced by Israel alone. “Experience shows that neither the UN nor an international force but only the IDF and Israel’s security agencies can ensure this demilitarization,” Netanyahu contended. “Israel must continue to be the force responsible for security on the ground.”
Netanyahu in the past had suggested leaving an IDF force in the Jordan Valley in order to maintain a demilitarized Palestinian state from ever being overtaken by a hostile group. Netanyahu thus argued that such a plan does not contradict his unequivocal opposition to the possibility of a binational state.
“My world view is consistent,” Netanyahu claimed. “I do not want a binational state and I do not want to make Israeli citizens out of more than one and a half million Palestinians.”
“I also know that the regions of Judea and Samaria in any withdrawal plan given the situation today would simply become another base for the Palestinian and Islamic terrorism that seeks to destroy Israel,” continued the prime minister. “If we abandon security control on the ground anywhere, who will be in control there? ISIS or Hamas, or perhaps both.”
Prime Minister Netanyahu also expressed his belief that achieving peace with the Arab countries in the region could lead Israel to an understanding with the Palestinians instead of vice versa.
“The prevailing assumption for years has been that peace with the Palestinians is the key to achieving peace with other Arab countries, but, under the current circumstances, it might be just the opposite,” suggested Netanyahu. “The improvement of relations with Arab countries could help in reaching an agreement with the Palestinians, but only when the Palestinians accept our existence.”