PA President Abbas with PM Netanyahu 311 (R).
(photo credit: Jonathan Ernst / Reuters)
While not ready to sign a comprehensive peace deal, Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu is willing to establish an interim Palestinian state without a final
agreement, former deputy foreign minister Yossi Beilin said on
Speaking during a debate with outgoing settlement council head
Danny Dayan, Beilin stated that he had heard from Netanyahu that he would be
ready for establishing a “provisional border with the
“This is something that I heard from him that he would be
ready to do it,” he stated.
The debate, held at the David Citadel Hotel
in Jerusalem, was organized by the American Jewish Committee.
prefer a permanent agreement but are not ready for it under either’s current
leadership,” Beilin continued.
Beilin, who was one of the primary
architects of both the Oslo Accords and the Geneva Initiative, a framework for
peace negotiated outside of official government channels, noted that “what can
be done is an interim agreement which establishes a Palestinian state in
provisional borders so that Netanyahu will not have to negotiate now about
“Netanyahu, far from being a warmonger, is a very cautious
person and therefore not the one [to sign] a permanent agreement. This is not
because he doesn’t want it but because he is not ready to pay the
Beilin negated the possibility of an accord such as his Geneva
Initiative being workable in the current political climate or with the “current
He also asserted that instead of the prime minister being
forced to deal with the issue of forcibly evacuating settlements, any settlers
who would wish to remain in their homes under Palestinian sovereignty would be
allowed to do so. Those not wishing to live within a Palestinian state would be
resettled, Beilin said, possibly even in other areas over the green line that
Israel would retain.
“Knowing Bibi,” he said, using Netanyahu’s nickname,
“I believe an interim solution could be realistic.”
However, the Prime
Minister’s Office denied Beilin’s statements. Speaking to The Jerusalem Post
response to Beilin’s comments, PMO officials noted that Netanyahu “believes in
direct negotiations with the Palestinians with no preconditions that would lead
to, as described in the Bar-Ilan speech, a two-state solution based on a
demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes Israel.”
council head Dayan also had an alternative peace plan on hand.
he said, Israel and the Palestinians “are devising a modus vivendi that is
moderately satisfying for everyone. It’s not idyllic or what we or Palestinians
want, but it’s moderately satisfying, and in this region it’s a hell of an
There is currently no long-term solution, he said, but
should Jordan experience regime change, it may be possible to push the idea of
Jordan as a Palestinian state.
“There is a significant chance for two
states, Israel west of the Jordan River and Palestine to the east, with joint
functional control over Judea and Samaria, although not shared sovereignty,” he
speculated. “That will be the beginning of serious negotiations, in which Israel
[eventually] rules the Jewish population there and Palestine rules the territory
in which their people live there.”
The debate was held during a dinner for the Board of Governors Institute of the AJC, which is
currently in Israel as part of a regional tour.
AJC director David
Harris, whose staff organized the debate, noted that members of the board were
granted an audience with King Abdullah of Jordan in Amman on Sunday and had met
with both President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Netanyahu on
“This evening is sort of quintessential AJC,” Harris noted. “We
always have a major debate as part of our programming. We invite people who are
thoughtful and reasoned but have certain perspectives on key issues. We listen
to them respectfully and we process the information. Tonight’s debate was very
much in that spirit.”