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Sunday, July 3, 2016

Prime Minister Netanyahu and the Arab Peace Initiative

Prime Minister Netanyahu and the Arab Peace Initiative

On May 31, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earned plaudits from the international community and angered his ultra-right-wing government when he announced that he sees the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002 as a basis for renewed peace talks with the Palestinians. On June 11, at a closed meeting with his fellow ministers, he reassured them that “Israel will never accept the Arab Peace Initiative as a basis for negotiations. [Arab countries] must grasp that they need to revise the Arab League proposal according to the changes that Israel demands.”
These contretemps are a perfect example of the manipulations and deceit that have characterized Netanyahu’s “peace diplomacy” during his four terms as prime minister of Israel. He empowered religious nationalists and xenophobic right wingers, and supported their enlargement of settlements throughout the West Bank, both openly and clandestinely, even as he retained the support of the U.S. Congress and a hidebound American Jewish establishment by claiming that his commitment to a two-state solution has been frustrated by Palestinian and Arab rejectionism.

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