NY Times editorial: Netanyahu values coalition over peace

November 13, 2010 19:42
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The New York Times criticized Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, in an editorial article in the newspaper's Saturday edition, for placing more importance on pleasing the right-wing members of his coalition than working with US President Barack Obama to achieve a peace agreement with the Palestinians.

The editorial entitled, "Politics Over Peace," also carried the contention that Netanyahu was counting on support from the Republican Party in the US congress, who recently gained a large number of seats in the Senate and gained the majority in the House of Representatives. The article cites the publishing of plans to build new housing units in east Jerusalem and Netanyahu "faulting" Obama for not militarily threatening Iran as evidence that the prime minister sees the Republican gains in Midterm elections as ensuring him of US support no matter what he does.

The article added that although both the Israelis and Palestinians need to do more to salvage stalled peace talks, the burden is on Netanyahu to extend the moratorium on settlement construction for 60 days in order to get Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas back to the negotiating table. The New York Times editorial staff contended that such an extension of the moratorium would "in no way harm Israel’s security or national interest."

According to the Times, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton offered Netanyahu "a package of generous incentives and security guarantees" in exchange for a resumption of the settlement freeze at their seven hour meeting in the US on Thursday.

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