Friday, May 22, 2009

Netanyahu Gives Lip Service

President Obama's new Middle East peace plan has been outlined, and according to The Australian:
Under the Obama proposal, Palestinian refugees would not be permitted to return to Israel, but they would be permitted to return to the Palestinian state that would arise on the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Those who continue to reside in Arab countries where they have been largely confined to refugee camps for 60 years would be given citizenship of those countries, ending their refugee status.

On the critical question of Jerusalem, Mr Obama will support the Arab demand that Palestinians be permitted to establish their capital in East Jerusalem, which was captured by Israel in the Six Day War in 1967. However, the walled Old City at the heart of Jerusalem, where the principal holy sites of Christianity, Judaism and Islam are located, would become an international enclave and fly the UN flag.

The Palestinian state would be demilitarised, maintaining a significant police force to keep order but not an army that might pose a security threat to Israel.
But according to Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Netanyahu said of his meetings with Obama:
Last night I returned to Jerusalem, our capital, from a very important visit to Washington, capital of the United States. It was very important for me to come back to participate in this ceremony and say the same things I said in the United States:

United Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Jerusalem has always been - and always will be - ours. It will never again be divided or cut in half. Jerusalem will remain only under Israel's sovereignty. In united Jerusalem, the freedom of worship and freedom of access for all three religions to the holy sites will be guaranteed, and it is the only way to guarantee that members of all faiths, minorities and denominations can continue living here safely.
The truth is somewhere in the middle and one thing to remember is that, like all politicians, Netanyahu must give lip service to his far right constituents in order to make gains for his far left constituents, and vice versa.

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