Message to Arab states: 'Netanyahu supports 2 states, but hampered by right-wing'

"There is a historic opportunity to push for a strategic rapprochement with Arab countries who oppose Iran and have common interests with Israel," according to the Netanyahu source.

July 9, 2016 16:23
2 minute read.
Right-wing rally

Right-wing rally in Tel Aviv, dubbed "United for the Land of Israel," March 15, 2015. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

A source close to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a Saudi Arabian newspaper Saturday that the premier supports a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians but has been hampered by right-wing elements within the government.

Speaking with the Saudi daily Elaph, an unidentified associate reportedly close to Netanyahu added that the premier would need his main rivals in the Knesset, the Zionist Union, to join the current governing coalition in order to resolve the conflict with the Palestinians and come to an agreement.

"Negotiations with the Zionist Union continue, but time is running out," the source told the Saudi newspaper.

The reported Netanyahu confidant continued by saying that the prime minister sees the two-state solution as a net benefit for peace and security for Israel and the region, but knows the current right-wing composition of the government makes it impossible to make any breakthroughs with the Palestinians.

"No one in the current coalition is interested in toppling the government... mostly because their afraid of losing their jobs," the source told Elaph.

"There is a historic opportunity to push for a strategic rapprochement with Arab countries who oppose Iran and have common interests with Israel, but so far there is no signs of progress due to the stagnation on the Palestinian issue," the source added.

The source continued by claiming that Netanyahu intends to recruit Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman to lead peace negotiations with the Palestinians, noting that both the prime minister and Liberman recognize a number of positive provisions detailed in the Saudi-led Arab peace initiative.

"Netanyahu wants to reach a solution in order to win the Nobel Peace Prize," the source told the newspaper.

"He is ready to give the Foreign Ministry to (Zionist Union MK) Isaac Herzog... in order to advance the peace track. He would make the entry of Zionist Union to the government for six months - and then, if there is no breakthrough - new elections would be called," the source said, adding  "There are ten MKs in the Zionist Union who are willing to join the government and to provide this opportunity for Netanyahu." 

The source concluded by stating: "Arab countries can play an important role on this issue, especially in putting pressure on the Israeli left to be part of the solution, rather than just being  the opposition."

"The Left can help Netanyahu advance the peace process, since the overthrow of the government and subsequent election are likely to lead to another political reality in Israel."



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