Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged the EU on Monday not to put forth a peace plan of its own, but rather to wait and see what the Americans will offer, and work on that.
Netanyahu's comments came during comments he and EU Foreign Policy chief Federica Mogherini gave before a breakfast meeting with all 28 EU foreign ministers in Brussels.
The significant difference between Israel and the EU over the Jerusalem issue and US President Donald Trump's recognizing the city as Israel's capital were on clear display during the opening comments. In recent days there have been voices raised inside the EU saying as a result of objection to Trump’s move, the EU should take a more forceful role in the diplomatic process and initiate its own peace proposal.
“You know where the European Union stands
,” Mogherini said to Netanyahu. “We believe that the only realistic solution to the conflict between Israel and Palestine is based on two states with Jerusalem as the capital of both, the State of Israel and the State of Palestine along the 1967 lines. This is our consolidated position, and we will continue to respect the international consensus on Jerusalem until the final status of the whole city is resolved in direct negotiations between the parties.”
Netanyahu responded by saying that the root of the conflict with the Palestinians is not territory, but rather a refusal by the Palestinians to recognize a nation state of the Jewish people within any boundary. “You see this in the the continual denial by the Palestinians of our right to exist as a Jewish state, and the denial of our history
,” he said. “For 3,000 years Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish people… Yet that connection is denied in UN forums, UNESCO and in laughable decisions that seek to deny history and historical truth.”
Netanyahu said that peace was based on recognizing reality.
“Jerusalem is Israel's capital, nobody can deny it,” he said. “It doesn't obviate peace, it makes peace possible, because recognizing reality is the substance of peace, the foundation of peace.”
“There is an effort now underway to bring forward a new peace proposal by the American administration,” he said. “ I think we should give peace a chance.”
Netanyahu said it is time for the Palestinians “to recognize the Jewish state, and that it has a capital: it's called Jerusalem.”