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Israel PM: Recognize Us-But, We Won’t Recognize You!

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has an interesting approach to negotiations which consists of compelling the other side to agree to his demands, PRIOR to negotiations! One again, he insisted the “key to peace lies in explicit and unequivocal recognition of Israel as the Jewish state… They must once and for all give up the demand to resettle inside of Israel the descendants of the refugees.” He claims “as soon as that is settled, a huge window to peace be opened.” Of course, there is no statement on his part that the West Bank is part of the state of Palestine nor does he agree that east Jerusalem is the capital of the independent nation of Palestine. If President Abbas made demands of such recognition, we can assume Netanyahu would respond he could not make any such commitment since they belong on the negotiating table.

The purpose of “negotiations” is for two parties to discuss issues and to reach compromises both can accept. The issue of Palestinians recognizing Israel as the “Jewish state” ignores that 20 percent of the people in Israel are Muslim Palestinians. It is not as simple as Netanyahu attempts to present with the issue being refugees. There is probably several compromises which could resolve the issue of return of refugees. Perhaps, if Netanyahu got to a negotiating table and discussed these options, the road to peace would no longer have barricades established by Israel.