Likud MKs: Endorsing 2 states won't topple PM

Likud MKs say Netanyahu won't face rebellion in party if US permits some settlement construction.

Miri Regev AJ 248.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozlimski)
Miri Regev AJ 248.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozlimski)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu would not face a rebellion inside his party if he endorsed the road map diplomatic plan and its call for a two-state solution, as long as he received results from the US in return, hawks in the Likud faction said Monday. The MKs, who met informally on Monday to prepare for Netanyahu's speech, said they would not be surprised if Netanyahu would take a leftward shift in his long-awaited policy address at Bar-Ilan University on Sunday. They said they understood that Netanyahu had to take steps to quell American pressure on Israel and that they needed to be flexible with him. "If he says yes to the road map and receives permission for natural growth in the settlements in return, he won't get toppled," said MK Danny Danon, who is considered the most hawkish Likud MK. "We would still scream but we would understand his decision." Likud MKs said that if Netanyahu did make such a policy shift, they expected that he would tell them he was doing so with the knowledge that the Palestinians and the Arab world would not do their part to allow US President Barack Obama to advance his policies, so there would not be any real danger that a Palestinian state would actually be created. Netanyahu refused to reveal any part of his new diplomatic plan in Monday's Likud faction meeting. When MKs asked him to consult with them on the speech, Netanyahu belittled them by telling them to leave their advice with cabinet secretary Tzvi Hauser. The prime minister mockingly told Likud MK Miri Regev that she could write the speech for him if she wanted. Netanyahu's associates said he had already consulted with the heads of the parties in his coalition and he would still talk to a long list of ministers and settler leaders. Ministers who talked with Netanyahu said they received the impression that he would accept a Palestinian state in one way or another, but that he had not yet made up his mind about how exactly to express it.