Haaretz, Nov. 11, 2015


Were Netanyahu more honest, he’d admit that he doesn’t support a Palestinian state. But he doesn’t want to do that, at least not in Washington, DC. So he told the audience at CAP that he really, really wants a Palestinian state. It just needs to remain under Israeli military control. It’s like saying you really, really want to give someone your car; you just need to hold on to the keys.

[...] Netanyahu is fine giving Palestinians autonomy over education, health care and the like, but he wants one state between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River under Israeli control. He claims it’s the Gaza experience, and rising instability in the Middle East, that has led him to this view. But that’s nonsense. Notwithstanding his 2009 Bar Ilan speech supposedly endorsing Palestinian statehood—a speech that even his own father admitted was insincere—this has been Netanyahu’s position since he entered politics more than two decades ago. [...]

Netanyahu doesn’t speak so bluntly anymore, at least not in front of the liberals at CAP. Perhaps he fears that admitting he wants Israel to indefinitely rule millions of West Bank Palestinians who lack basic rights would isolate Israel internationally. Perhaps he fears it would empower those anti-Zionists who want one secular binational state divested of its Jewish character.