20 questions 58.
(photo credit: courtsey)
This week’s 20 Questions hosts Tovah Lazaroff, a senior correspondent at The Jerusalem Post.
'France, Britain may recognize Palestinian state'
recently returned from a trip to Europe with Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu. When we asked what it was like traveling with the premier,
Lazaroff admitted that as an ardent fan of the US television show The West Wing
, her expectations may have been slightly exaggerated.
Nevertheless, Lazaroff says it was an adventure, and driving through
the streets of Paris in the PM’s motorcade was an experience that she
won’t easily forget.
With regards to the purpose of the trip, Lazaroff says that the PM’s
primary goal was to “target” French President Nicolas Sarkozy and
British Prime Minister David Cameron. Britain and France hold 2 out of
5 votes in the United Nations Security Council which may call for the
unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state in September.
When asked if she herself believes that such a declaration will be
made, Lazaroff asserts that prior to the recent Hamas-Fatah unity deal,
the Palestinians had a clear path to a unilateral state. Even though in
light of this a unilateral declaration seems less likely than it was,
there is a tremendous desire from the international community to give
the Palestinians their own state.
Lazaroff believes that the US is still a strong partner for Israel.
While American politicians have been halting funds to the Palestinians
since the unity deal, the Europeans on the other and, have been
We asked Lazaroff what she thinks will be said in the upcoming Congress
speeches. She predicts that US President Barack Obama will limit
himself to simply outlining the principles we’ve heard before: for the
two sides to negotiate an agreement, for Israel to stop construction in
the settlements and for the Palestinians to recognize Israel’s security
Insofar as Netanyahu’s much anticipated speech on May 24, media pundits
have been speculating that as a result of the unity deal the speech
will not be a “Bar Ilan II” – i.e. Netanyahu will not propose a new
deal for peace. Lazaroff postulates that the reason for this is that
the PM, along with the rest of Israel, believes that the unity deal was
a game changer. This, she says, is a critical mistake.
For the international community, the deal hasn’t changed anything, and
Netanyahu must keep that in mind when he speaks to Congress. His
central argument thus far has been that the Palestinians are trying to
separate Palestinian statehood from peace, but that can no longer
suffice on its own.
Lazaroff opines that the PM will be ill-advised to simply leave it at
that and must offer an alternative. In her words, “You can’t stand in
Washington and say ‘don’t do this’ without also saying ‘do that
Lazaroff postulates that from Hamas’ perspective, their recent
announcement stating that they will accept a state on 1967 lines (as
opposed to all of Israel) is already concession enough. With this in
mind, she doesn’t see much chance of land swaps occurring, despite
To see the full interview click here
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