PM: United J'lem, recognized Jewish state key for peace

Netanyahu, opposition leader butt heads over way to solving Palestinian issue; Livni: PM will not solve conflict.

June 15, 2011 18:37
1 minute read.
PM Netanyahu in the Knesset plenum

Netanyahu in Knesset alone 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Wednesday's specially organized Knesset plenum entitled "The failure of the Netanyahu government in political, economic, and social sectors," heated up around the issue of renewed peace negotiations as Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu prodded the opposition leadership, asking rhetorically whether or not Palestinian recognition of the Jewish state was necessary for peace.

Opposition leader Tzipi Livni had an answer for Netanyahu, saying he has not worked for peace nor will he achieve it.

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The prime minister laid down what he called a "framework" Israel must bring to negotiations, including insistence on a unified Jerusalem, maintaining large settlement blocs located beyond the Green Line under Israeli sovereignty, an Israeli presence on the Jordan River valley, and a solution to the Palestinian refugee issue outside Israel proper.

He said the Palestinian state will be "broken up" but will have clearly demarcated borders.

The prime minister, reiterating the platform he laid out before the US Congress last month, said that negotiations for a two-state solution with Israel fully recognized as a Jewish state would lead to peace, and not unilateral moves.

He said he had received support from the US Congress, US President Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and "other European leaders."

Opposition leader Tzipi Livni followed Netanyahu's address,  declaring that she had five words for the prime minister: "Netanyahu won't solve the conflict," adding "Netanyahu just wants to stay prime minister."

Livni said it was time to return to negotiations and stop the "dangerous train" headed straight for Israel. She said there "is a desire and there is a way," and that difficult decisions and concessions must be made.

She said the current government is looking backwards to the historic opportunity presented during the Peres-Hussein London Agreement where Jordan offered a UN international peace conference for solving the Arab-Israeli conflict and the Palestinian refugee and territorial issues based on UN resolutions 242 and 338. Livni said that the chance was missed then and that this government will not solve the problem today.

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