Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu said, in a speech on Sunday night that was billed as a response to Obama’s speech to the Muslim world from Cairo on 4 June, that Palestinians are living in the Jewish homeland, and must recognize the Jewish right to be there.
Palestinians could live as a “free” people, side-by-side with the Jewish people, with each having its own “national existence”, Netanyahu said, if (1) they recognize Israel as the national state of the Jewish people, and if (2) they agree that “the Palestinian entity must be demilitarized”, with Israel retaining a real defensive edge with “ironclad” security guarantees.
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The Israeli organization Peace Now responded to the Netanyahu speech with this critique:
“Bibi is still Bibi, perhaps more sophisticated but without a real message for the State of Israel.
Without vision, without a course of action and without any willingness to lead Israel to the necessary decisions, Netanyahu tried to remake himself, but even the pair of words ‘Palestinian state’ is no magic formula that can cover the political nakedness of Netanyahu and his government.
In Netanyahu’s vision of an upgraded autonomy called a ‘demilitarized Palestinian state’, the lives of the Palestinians will be dictated solely by the whims of the government of Israel in Jerusalem”…