It is wrong to accuse Netanyahu of introducing recognition of Israel as a Jewish state as some kind of precondition. I remember that Ehud Olmert and Tsipi Livni did the same when they were in power. In any event, it is NOT a precondition for talks, it is a precondition for extending the settlement freeze another two months. Akiva Eldar is being unfair. Netanyahu went farther than any other Israeli government by granting a TEN-MONTH freeze on new settlement construction. Abbas conveniently waited until the last minute, just before the freeze was set to expire, in order to restart direct negotiations, and so now with the freeze over, he has his excuse to walk out of the talks before they even got started. If anyone is not serious about making peace, it is clear that it is the Palestinians, who are looking for any excuse to avoid negotiations. Also, the right of return is a red line for both left-wing and right-wing Israeli governments. It is simply not negotiable. Therefore, whether it is made as a precondition of some kind or not is really irrelevant. If the Palestinians are unwilling to give up on right of return, whether now or later, then there can be no peace agreement.
Australian police arrest 5 over shooting 'linked to terrorism' (Reuters)
from the article: Netanyahu asking Palestinians to cede right of return