The reason Netanyahu demands it may be because he can then say: The Palestinian refugees cannot return to the "Jewish state". But the refugee problem has to be discussed as part of the comprehensive peace deal, not as a "trick". For Abbas to recognize Israel as the homeland for the Jews is to demand from him some determination about history. What Abbas knows as a historical fact is that Israel was part of the homeland of the Palestinian people (as they are defined today). The Jewish claim is debated by historians (although I, and most Jews, believe it as a certainty). If Abbas is willing to decide historical claims, he might say: Israel and Palestine together are the homeland for both the Jewish people and the Palestinian people. (Indeed, Judea and Samaria are the historic homeland of the Jews more than Israel proper). But such a historical determination by Abbas will be of no use to Netanyahu. I think Yahoo should reconsider his pointless demand.
Magnitude 4.2 quake strikes near Grand Coulee Dam in Washington (Reuters)