Less Than a Month to Elections

Likud-Beiteinu Struggles to Reconcile Charter With Netanyahu's 'Two State' Bar-Ilan Speech

The idea of 'two states for two peoples' contradicts Yisrael Beiteinu's platform that the Palestinians want Israel to be destroyed, and Likud has never recognized a Palestinian state.

Less than a month to the election, and over two months after the announcement of the joint slate, Likud and Yisrael Beiteniu have yet to present the platform of the joint slate in advance of the election, and according to sources in the joint faction, "It's not clear when exactly the platform will be presented."

Sources involved in attempts to present the document recently rejected claims that there is a real problem, arguing that "the platform is an anachronistic document and lacks any real justification nowadays. Likud served for four years. Its achievements and its policy in the past term are the party platform, and based on them the public has to decide where to support the party or to oppose it."

But the new platform is supposed to include a reference to the issue of the establishment of a Palestinian state, for the first time since Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recognized the principle of "two states for two nations" in his Bar Ilan speech. "The Likud platform to date did not recognize the existence of a Palestinian state, and Yisrael Beiteinu dismissively rejects the possibility that it will be possible to establish a Palestinian state alongside an Israeli state," said sources in Likud.

In its present platform, Yisrael Beiteinu states that "the demand to establish a Palestinian state, and for the 'Right of Return' were designed to camouflage the real objective, which is to erase the State of Israel as a Jewish and Zionist state."

In his speech at Bar Ilan University in June 2009, a few months after becoming prime minister, Netanyahu declared that he would support the establishment of a demilitarized Palestinian state, but that "The fundamental condition for ending the conflict is the public, binding and sincere Palestinian recognition of Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish People."

Netanyahu continued: "But, friends, we must state the whole truth here. The truth is that in the area of our homeland, in the heart of our Jewish Homeland, now lives a large population of Palestinians. We do not want to rule over them. We do not want to run their lives. We do not want to force our flag and our culture on them. In my vision of peace, there are two free peoples living side by side in this small land, with good neighborly relations and mutual respect, each with its flag, anthem and government, with neither one threatening its neighbor's security and existence."

Michael Kramer