Tuesday, October 12, 2010

PA refusal is "the root of the conflict"

From JPost, 12 Oct 2010, by HERB KEINON*:

The Palestinian Authority has [again] rejected Israel’s suggestion that it recognize Israel as a Jewish state in exchange for a renewal of the settlement construction moratorium, officials in the Prime Minister’s Office said on Monday.

“The idea was simple,” one official said. “If they could move on an issue important to us, then the prime minister would feel confident and ask the cabinet for a moratorium extension.”

... Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced at the opening of the Knesset’s winter session on Monday that he would ask for a settlement moratorium extension if the PA would unequivocally recognize Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people.

The Palestinians quickly rebuffed the idea, with chief negotiator Saeb Erekat saying the PA “forcefully rejects all these Israeli  ...demands ...”

...During his Knesset speech, Netanyahu [said] ...“During the past several weeks, I have explored every path to ensuring the continuation of the talks,” Netanyahu declared, saying he was looking for something to convince the government and the country that the Palestiniansare truly ready to live with us in peace.”

...Because the Palestinians expect us to recognize the Palestinian state as their nationstate, we can expect them to recognize the Jewish state as our nation-state.”

...The prime minister said he hoped that the Palestinian decision not to renew the talks without a renewal of the moratorium was not taken to “avoid making the real decisions necessary for a peace agreement.”

Netanyahu...said that not only Israel, but also the Palestinians, will “have to make difficult decisions.” He said that for compromise to lead to peace, and not more war, it must be accompanied by two fundamental components: recognition and security arrangements.

The demand for Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, he said, was ...the “root of the conflict and therefore a central foundation for resolving it. For 100 years, the Palestinians have taught entire generations to believe that there is no Jewish people, that this land is their homeland alone.”...

*Khaled Abu Toameh contributed to this report.
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