Netanyahu: This Conflict Was Never About a Palestinian State, It's About Accepting the Jewish State

(Prime Minister's Office) Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told visiting Italian President Sergio Mattarella on Wednesday: Sadly, Palestinian President Abbas continues to refuse to accept a Jewish state in any boundaries and this remains the core of the conflict. It is wrong to think that the conflict between us and the Palestinians is rooted in the settlements. It preceded the settlements by half a century. And when we left Gaza and all the settlements there, they continued to fire rockets at us. I asked President Abbas, "Would you recognize a Jewish state, assuming we solve the settlement problem?" And they won't, because the real settlement issue is the "settlements" of Tel Aviv, Jaffa, and Haifa. This conflict is not and never was about a Palestinian state, which successive Israeli governments, including this prime minister, is willing to arrange. It is about the Jewish state, and unless and until our Palestinian neighbors face this, and give up trying to destroy the Jewish state, peace will be harder to achieve. Denying our history is one of the means of denying the Jewish state. What fills me with great hope is that there is a dramatic change taking place in the Arab world. Many of the Arab countries see Israel no longer as their enemy but as their ally in fighting against Islamist terrorism and militant Islam, either led by Iran or led by the Islamic State. If we said in the past that if we break through with the Palestinians, we'll have broader peace with the Arab world, I think the odds are that now peace is going to be achieved through a reverse path - that a broader rapprochement with the Arab world would bring peace with the Palestinians. Israel's hand is extended in peace to all those who want to make peace with us.

2016-11-03 00:00:00

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