Netanyahu and Palestine

Just in case you forget, the Likud and Bibi Netanyahu do not recognize Palestine's right to exist. Funny how you don't see that mentioned too often in the New York Times, which reminds its readers of the Hamas charter's stance on Israel every time the group is mentioned.

ANALYSIS / Why isn't Netanyahu backing two-state solution? - Haaretz - Israel News:



"Netanyahu says he doesn't want to rule over the Palestinians, and has no interest in Nablus, Tul Karm or Jenin; they should govern their own lives, as long as they don't threaten Israeli security, he says. Netanyahu seeks to deny the Palestinians four rights of any sovereign state: control of its airspace; control of its electromagnetic spectrum; the right to maintain an army and to sign military alliances; and, most importantly, control of the border crossings where arms and terrorists could pass. Netanyahu believes Israel must retain all of these.

Netanyahu's model is based on the work of Stanford University political science professor Stephen Krasner, who was director of policy planning in the State Department under Condoleezza Rice. Krasner developed a 'restricted sovereignty' model for problematic state structures.

Netanyahu also has a tactical reason for objecting to a Palestinian state: He believes that this must come through negotiations, rather than being something conceded by Israel in advance. He considers the Annapolis process that outgoing prime minister Ehud Olmert and Foreign Minister Livni conducted with the Palestinian Authority's Mahmoud Abbas and Ahmed Qureia to be a joke. In his opinion, Israel must not offer a near-total withdrawal from the West Bank in advance, which he believes would achieve nothing and only encourage the Palestinians to demand more.

Netanyahu believes Israel must insist on retaining 50 percent of the West Bank - the open areas in the Jordan Valley and the Judean Desert that are vital as a security zone. In light of statements the outgoing government has made to the Palestinians, Netanyahu's position is a joke meant to kill the negotiations before they even begin. "


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Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.