NATINYAHU SAYS "NO" TO OBAMA: PALESTINIANS TO GO FORWARD?
Erol Avdovic (Webpublicapress)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a White House meeting Friday, rejected Obama's call to use the pre-1967 war lines as the basis for border talks with the Palestinians. Because of that, the Palestinians will move ahead with their request for U.N. recognition of their state in the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem, an aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said, a Associated Press (AP) reported early Saturday from Ramallah.
Talking to Mr. Obama Israelis Prime Minister said no to "1967 borders" of new Palestinian state: "While Israel is prepared to make generous compromises for peace, it cannot go back to the 1967 lines", Mr. Natinyahu said to US President, He added, that those "lines are indefensible, because they don’t take into account certain changes that have taken place on the ground, demographic changes that have taken place over the last 44 years. Remember that before 1967, Israel was all of 9 miles wide — half the width of the Washington Beltway".
REALITY - NO ILLUSIONS
"Israel wants peace. I want peace", Natanyahu said to Obama in Oval Office, but he, as he said - touched upon reality: "What we all want is a peace that will be genuine, that will hold, that will endure. And I think that the — we both agree that a peace based on illusions will crash eventually on the rocks of Middle Eastern reality, and that the only — the only peace that will endure is one that is based on reality, on unshakable facts", Israel's Prime Minister said, according to the White House transcript, available to the Press.
"I don't think we can talk about a peace process with a man who says the 1967 lines are an illusion, that Jerusalem will be the capital of Israel, undivided, and he does not want a single (Palestinian) refugee to go back," Erekat responded latter, as AP reported.
Abbas has not given a formal response to the parameters for a peace deal Obama laid out in a Mideast speech on Thursday. He was, according to AP - consulting by phone with Arab leaders on the issue.President Obama has also demanded answers from Abbas about his reconciliation deal with the Islamic militant group Hamas, which controls Gaza.
Hamas refuses to recognize Israel, and has not softened its hardline stance as part of the reconciliation. According to AP, Abbas has argued that he, not Hamas, would represent Palestinians in negotiations. Netanyahu said Friday that Abbas would have to choose between Hamas and a peace deal with Israel.
PALESTINIANS WILL COME TOGETHER
In his speech Thursday, Obama warned that "symbolic actions to isolate Israel at the United Nations in September won't create an independent state." Obama didn't threaten a veto on Palestinian state in UN Security Council.
Erekat said it's too soon to say whether the Palestinians will continue with their quest for U.N. recognition in September. A bid to become a U.N. member requires approval not just from the General Assembly, where the Palestinians might win the needed majority, but also from the U.N. Security Council where the U.S. might veto such a step, AP reports.
Palestinians are saying - reconciliation is an internal Palestinian issue and that the efforts by Hamas and Abbas' Fatah movement to form a joint transition government would continue.