MKs on the Right expressed outrage on Thursday night at US President Barack
Obama’s call for the creation of a Palestinian state based on the 1967 lines
with mutually agreed swaps, in an exchange of territory for
They called upon Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to reject
Obama’s plan when he meets with him on Friday in Washington.
Abbas calls emergency meeting over Obama address
In Arab world, disappointment Obama didn’t go further
Hussein Obama adopted Yasser Arafat’s staged plan for Israel’s destruction, and
he is trying to force it on our prime minister,” Likud MK Danny Danon said. “All
that was new in the speech was that he called for Israel to return to 1967
borders without solving the crisis. Netanyahu has only one option: Tell
Obama to forget about it.”
Environment Minister Gilad Erdan, also from
the Likud, who as a minister close to Netanyahu must be more diplomatic, said on
Channel 2 that according to Obama’s approach, the Palestinians would receive
what they were demanding on borders before negotiations begin.
have everything from the start, they have no reason to make any concessions,”
But opposition leader Tzipi Livni said Obama’s plan was
clearly in Israel’s interests, while the diplomatic stalemate that she believes
was brought on by Netanyahu is not.
“On his visit, Netanyahu must display
the leadership necessary now to create the conditions necessary to restart
negotiations with those who are ready to end the conflict,” Livni said. “Only a
real Israeli initiative with content that can receive American and international
support can be an answer to the current dangers and opportunities.”
Kadima colleague, MK Yoel Hasson, warned that if Netanyahu did not take
immediate action, he would bring Israel into deeper international isolation and
have borders forced on the country unilaterally.
Kadima’s MK Otniel
Schneller turned the focus back on his own party, however, calling on the
opposition’s leadership to take a strong stand behind the prime minister on
issues of foreign policy in light of Obama’s speech.
“Obama’s speech has
placed before Israeli society and its representatives the challenge of unity and
national agreement. The political disagreements and the motivation of the
opposition parties should not overpower their responsibility for the future of
the state,” Schneller said.
“On the level of diplomatic policy, Kadima
believes in the same principles presented by the prime minister, which
constitute the basis for a diplomatic program that the previous government under
[prime minister Ehud] Olmert and foreign minister Tzipi Livni tried to advance,”
he added. “It would be appropriate if during the prime minister’s meeting with
President Obama, everyone knew that the prime minister has no opposition when it
comes to realizing his diplomatic initiative. We should expect mature leadership
from the heads of all of the Zionist parties on the existential questions facing
Israel and its strategic interests.”
MK Ahmed Tibi (United Arab
List-Ta’al) criticized the speech, saying Obama offered “nothing new” in regards
to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
Tibi told Channel 2 news the
speech was intended more for Arab audiences who have been participating in
pro-democracy protests in the past several months “Obama is riding the tiger of
Arab democracy,” he said.
Referring to the US president’s speech in Cairo
in June 2009, Tibi concluded by nicknaming Thursday’s address: “Cairo Speech
Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.