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article imageNetanyahu: Israel must separate from the Palestinians

By Paul Iddon     Jun 6, 2014 in Politics
Israel's premier Benjamin Netanyahu has allegedly said that in order for Israel to retain its Jewish character it must see to "a separation from the Palestinians."
The Jerusalem Post informs us that these comments were referred to in this Friday's edition of the Israeli Makor Rishon religious newspaper.
The above quote they attribute to Mr. Netanyahu who was said to have made these statements whilst speaking to lawmakers. They go on to claim that these comments left some present "stunned."
Netanyahu reiterated his view on the Palestinian national government which consists of Fatah and Hamas. "We will not talk to a government in which Hamas is taking part," he said once again.
He also allegedly proclaimed the following,
"I don't want one state from the Jordan to the Sea. Even if the demographic balance doesn't change to our detriment and there is a Jewish majority, it is still obvious that we need to have a Jewish majority that is overwhelming and for that state to be democratic. And that is why we need a separation."
"That way, we would be ensured of a Jewish majority and we would also have some wiggle room with some of the Arab countries for a certain period of time."
Given the fact that Mr. Netanyahu is making clear he will no longer negotiate with Fatah's Mahoud Abbas this leads one to ponder if Netanyahu would support a unilateral withdrawal from the West Bank.
The aforementioned Jerusalem Post quoted one Israeli MK who said as much when he said that, "Netanyahu spoke of the need for separation just after he made clear that there will be no negotiations with the Palestinians in light of the latest circumstances. It is impossible not to wonder whether this was Netanyahu's opening salvo [of a policy of] unilateral separation form the Palestinians, especially when he made these comments after MKs asked him explicitly about unilateral measures."
"Notice something else," the MK added, "That is the exact same terminology used by Ariel Sharon when he began to move toward the disengagement plan in Gaza."
That last comment reminds this journalist of an editorial written by the former Israeli ambassador to the United States Michael Oren. On the occasion of Ariel Sharon's death he argued, in a CNN obituary, that Israel should unilaterally withdraw from the West Bank if the John Kerry-brokered peace talks collapse. Which they did following the unity agreement between Fatah and Hamas April 23rd last.
Oren wrote the following in his Sharon obituary,
'Today, as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry pursues a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, Sharon's approach is once again being discussed. A growing number Israelis are asking, "What happens if the process fails?"
One solution could be a unilateral Israeli withdrawal from Palestinian population centers in the West Bank. As in the disengagement from Gaza, the United States would endorse this move, but unlike in Gaza, most Israeli settlements would remain within Israel, and Israeli troops would still patrol strategic borders. Of course, the preferable solution is two states for two peoples. But if that proves unattainable, then Israel can still end the occupation of the Palestinians, preserve its security, and perhaps lay new foundations for peace.'
As Tablet Magazine pointed out on the occasion Mr. Oren was Netanyahu's "handpicked envoy to the United States."
That Tablet article also quoted comments made by Oren in 2009 that echo the ones attributed to Netanyahu today. He said that he believes "that the only alternative Israel has to save itself as a Jewish state – and let's be frank about that, the Jewish state is predicated on having a Jewish majority – the only way we can do that is by unilaterally withdrawing our border and withdrawing our settlements in the West Bank."
More about Israel, Benjamin netanyahu, palestinian territories, West bank, Judea and Samaria
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