Amidror: Israel has disagreement with Palestinians, not US

National security advisor says PM left White House meeting feeling "much better," saying unclear elements of Obama speech were clarified.

May 22, 2011 11:09
2 minute read.
Former NSC head Ya'acov Amidror

Amidror 311. (photo credit: Nisim Lev)


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Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu felt much more encouraged after his meeting with US President Barack Obama on Friday than when he walked in, National Security Advisor Ya'akov Amidror said on Sunday.

Speaking in interviews with both Israel Radio and Army Radio, Amidror said he believes the conversation between the two leaders was "very important for clarifying issues between them. I think he felt much better because things that weren't entirely clear in Obama's speech were clarified during their conversation."

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The recently-appointed national security advisor said that although Netanyahu was "disappointed" by Obama's reference to 1967 lines in his Middle East policy speech on Thursday, "my feeling is that the media stories were blown out of proportion."

"It would be a mistake to return to 1967 borders," Amidror added, "too many Jewish Israelis are located on the other side of [those] lines."

Amidror was very adamant, however, that whatever disagreement exists between Israel and the United States, they are disagreements between good friends.

The Americans, he said, agree that there cannot be negotiations with Hamas and the "there won't be negotiations with the Palestinians if [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas] continues to go with Hamas ... That understanding exists between us."

"But the differences don't need to be worked out between us and the United States," he added, "they need to be worked out between us and the Palestinians."

It is true that the US and Israel have different approaches to negotiations as laid out in Obama's speech, Amidror admitted. "It's true that the US wants to leave the more sensitive issues of refugees and Jerusalem for the end [of negotiations]," while Israel thinks that vital issues like refugees should not be separate from the other central points.

The connection between Israel and the United States is strong and firm, Cabinet Secretary Zvi Hauser said on Sunday, adding that "differences of opinion are healthy in a friendship between like this."

Also speaking with Army Radio, Hauser said: "[US President Barack] Obama explained that there is an urgent need for a settlement that brings about two nation-states, and specifically said it is the Palestinians who abandoned negotiations and adopted a unilateral path that has no chance."

Obama's statements, he explained, are "similar to [Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu's argument that there is no partner [for peace] in Hamas."

The cabinet secretary also discussed settlement blocs, saying that they are part of a core understanding between Israeli political parties. "Netanyahu said [that] firmly, without cutting corners or and without delay."

He added, "The dynamic of the political process includes times when it is necessary to clarify positions and principles - and that is what we saw in the meeting last Friday," referring to Netanyahu's White House meeting with Obama in Washington.

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