Forget 1967, Let's Talk 1921 |

Four Years On, Netanyahu Returns to Bar Ilan More Hawkish Than Ever

'Unless the Palestinians recognize the Jewish state and give up on the right of return there will not be peace,' says PM - at same podium where he first recognized the two-state solution.

ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid

For over a month, right-wing members of the coalition have been telling anyone willing to listen that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is about to make a dramatic diplomatic move – a permanent agreement, intermediate arrangement or unilateral move that would necessitate a territorial withdrawal, uprooting settlements and establishing a Palestinian state. They sent letters, signed petitions, held conferences and were interviewed at every opportunity.

Sunday evening the prime minister allayed their fears. Almost four and half years after he stood at the podium at Bar-Ilan University and delivered a moderate speech in which he recognized for the first time the two-state solution, Netanyahu returned to the same spot to give a hawkish address in which he did everything except announce that he is reneging on his agreement in principle to Palestinian statehood.

“Unless the Palestinians recognize the Jewish state and give up on the right of return there will not be peace,” he said in his address.

The prime minister went on to say that even if they do agree to these conditions, it will not be sufficient. “After generations of incitement we have no confidence that such recognition will percolate down to the Palestinian people,” he said. “That is why we need extremely strong security arrangements and to go forward, but not blindly.”

Netanyahu went on to emphasize that the “occupation and settlements” are not the core of the conflict. Netanyahu used the word “occupation” with a mixture of disdain and abhorrence.

“When anyone is asked what is the source of the conflict, the standard answer is the occupation, the territories, the settlements. They say that the Israeli takeover of Judea and Samaria following the Six-Day War to a large extent created the conflict, and I ask whether that is true.

“The conflict, if I have to choose a date when it began in earnest, began in the year 1921, on the day Palestinian Arabs attacked the immigrants’ house in Jaffa. This attack, of course, had nothing to do with the territories or settlements. It was against the immigration of Jews to the Land of Israel.

“Then came the Partition Plan in 1947, with the suggestion of an Arab state alongside a Jewish state,” he continued. “The Jews agreed, the Arabs refused. Because the issue was not then the question of a Palestinian state – the issue was and remains the Jewish state. Then 19 years later came the stranglehold around us aimed at uprooting us. And why? After all, then there was no occupation.”

Benjamin Netanyahu declared his support of the two-state solution at Bar-Ilan University. but hardly acted in accordance. Credit: Amos ben Gershon / GPO

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

The projected rise in sea level on a beach in Haifa over the next 30 years.

Facing Rapid Rise in Sea Levels, Israel Could Lose Large Parts of Its Coastline by 2050

Tal Dilian.

As Israel Reins in Its Cyberarms Industry, an Ex-intel Officer Is Building a New Empire

Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III and a British synagogue.

How the Queen’s Death Changes British Jewry’s Most Distinctive Prayer

Newly appointed Israeli ambassador to Chile, Gil Artzyeli, poses for a group picture alongside Rabbi Yonatan Szewkis, Chilean deputy Helia Molina and Gerardo Gorodischer, during a religious ceremony in a synagogue in Vina del Mar, Chile last week.

Chile Community Leaders 'Horrified' by Treatment of Israeli Envoy

Queen Elizabeth attends a ceremony at Windsor Castle, in June 2021.

Over 120 Countries, but Never Israel: Queen Elizabeth II's Unofficial Boycott