Sunday, June 14, 2009

Netanyahu's Bar Ilan Speech

I don't see much discussion of it online yet, what with it being Sunday, and the Iranian story attracting most attention. Perhaps tommorrow there will be more, and perhaps not.

I liked the speech. Netanyahu said, loud and clear, that Israel looks forward to living in peace alongside a Palestinian state. True, he added some conditions. The Palestinian state must be demilitarized, and the refugee problem must be resolved outside the Israeli borders: both these points were part of (Bill) Clinton's dictated terms of December 24th 2000. Terms the Palestinians rejected then and will reject now, of course. Netanyahu added that Jerusalem won't be divided, and this, to me, is simply common sense.

Netanyahu also said he'll continue building in the existing settlements. This is a complex matter, as I've explained recently, but if it bothers the Palestinians so much the way forward is clear: make peace with us and you'll be able to participate in the resolution of this matter. Huffing and puffing about how awful we are may well be gratifying, I can imagine, but it does no practical good.

And then there was one brief sentence in his speech about what the Israeli government offered the Palestinians in 2008. The negotiations were kept secret, so we don't know the details - but Netanyahu does. I would have welcomed some elaboration. The way Netanyahu built the sentence, comparing the Israeli offers of 2008 with those of 2000,was most intriguing. I expect if the facts were known, they'd cut the ground from under most of the public discourse about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But we don't know the precise details, because no-one is telling.


Dimitry Papkov said...

I guess he read Ari Shavit's article, because he phrased his speech almost exactly like that.

By the way, we do know to some extent what was offerred from both Arekat's and Abbass' words.

The Palestinians, of course, didn't lose any time denouncing this speech as the most hawkish evah.

The main point is that most the points Netanyahu had made are really a wide consensus in Israel. And those that are shakier (like Jerusalem) he made a point to say were his positions.

As you said earlier, after such a speech, someone saying he has Israel's best interests at heart would have trouble denouncing it.

Dimitry Papkov said...

Is there an English transcript somewhere?

Anonymous said...

here's the English text

Lydia McGrew said...

Yeah, Yaacov, when I read parts of Bibi's speech and summaries of it, I thought to myself, "That sounds exactly like what Yaacov Lozowick has been saying for quite a while. Huh." So, I hope this means you wish you'd voted for him, now? :-)