June 14, 2009 Netanyahu Says the Words: Endorses Two State Solution

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A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman

June 14, 2009 Netanyahu Says the Words: Endorses Two State Solution

Netanyahu said the words... He finally stated he would accept a two state solution. He placed many conditions on the final statehood, but he stated what he had never stated before– that he is willing to work towards the establishment of a Palestinian state. This is the first time Netanyahu has uttered those words.

His conditions were many, but they are not all that relevant. The statement was key. The American administration might not be happy with the fact Netanyahu stated that natural growth of the settlments will continue, but getting Netanyahu to utter the words "Palestinain state" is clearly an accomplishment for President Obama and he responded appropriately. President Obama's response was: "The President welcomes the important step forward in Prime Minister Netanyahu's speech. The President is committed to two states, a Jewish state of Israel and an independent Palestine, in the historic homeland of both peoples. He believes this solution can and must ensure both Israel's security and the fulfillment of the Palestinians' legitimate aspirations for a viable state, and he welcomes Prime Minister Netanyahu's endorsement of that goal. The President will continue working with all parties - Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Arab states, and our Quartet partners - to see that they fulfill their obligations and responsibilities necessary to achieve a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and a comprehensive regional peace."

Those who attacked Netanyahu's speech included: the Palestinians, who said they refused to enter into negotitiatons "without preconditions". They want to pick up where their negotiations with the Olmert government left off. They also objected to his other conditions; no negotiations over Jerusalem or refugees. The Israeli right also objected. For them, having PM Netanyahu utter the words "Palestinian state" was sacrilegious. The only groups that liked the speech in Israel were members of the labor party and Kadima.

The Iranian elections have come and gone. By all accounts, the election was stolen. While all the details are not known, it seems that when it became clear that Mousavi, Ahmadinejad's opponent, had won, the cleric who is the supreme leader of Iran ordered the Interior Ministry to doctor the results. The clerics may have miscalculated. Thy achieved short term gain- keeping their man in a job that is partially ceremonial. However, they have eliminated their key safety valve in the society, giving the people the feeling they have some power over their future. In addition, even though Mousavi was as commited to Iran's nuclear future as Ahmadinejad, if he had won, international pressure on Iran would have lessoned– the world would want to give Mousavi- the one who took down Achmdinejad, some time. In the meantime, the centrifuges in Iran’s nuclear program would continue to spin. By having Ahmadinejad steal the election, the cleric has probably done more to convince a reluctant world to increase the pressure on Iran.

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