Despite that optimism, Netanyahu later said in an interview with Fox News on Sunday, July 11, that he did not think an agreement could be implemented by 2012. When asked by host Chris Wallace if there can be a Palestinian state by 2012, Netanyahu said, “I think there can be a solution. It may be implemented over time because time is an important factor of getting the solution, both in terms of security arrangements and other things that would be difficult if they're not allowed to take place over time.”
In follow-up questions, Netanyahu said a negotiated peace was possible by 2012, but as for the implementation of an agreement, “I think it's going to take longer than that.”
In his comments to the Council on Foreign Relations, Netanyahu decried a piecemeal approach to peace and emphasized the need for Abbas to show real leadership for peace. As for the parameters of a peace deal, Netanyahu was adamant on the need for solid security and recognition of Israel verbally and publicly from the Palestinian leadership to their people, as well as to declare the end of the conflict and claims.
Netanyahu noted the conflict existed before the settlements and pointed to the approach of Hamas to claim all of Israel as Palestine and the failure of Palestinian moderate leaders to recognize the Jewish state of Israel and that it is here to stay.
Netanyahu said, “The real engine of the conflict is the refusal, the persistent refusal, to recognize the Jewish state in any boundary, and unless this is addressed, it continues to take hold in the Palestinian psyche and it doesn't get resolved. And admittedly, if leaders begin to talk in this way, it doesn't guarantee that there will be a change of heart, but it's a necessary precondition for such a change. Otherwise, it will never happen.”
Netanyahu also addressed the settlement freeze, with his comments making another unilateral moratorium appear unlikely. “The settlement issue was supposed to be a final-status issue from the start. It was—along with security, with the question of territory, borders, Jerusalem, refugees, water [supposed to be a final-status issue]…I actually did this temporary freeze as an inducement to enter the talks. Now, seven months into this 10-month moratorium, the Palestinians have not yet come in, but they already argue, well, you got to extend that gesture. And I think the right thing to do is just get into the talks.
“This is how we'll resolve this issue of settlements, by actually having the talks and not by constantly pulling and trying to engage in this one-upmanship that has been directed at Israel. I think we've shown our good faith…So I would say, I think we've done enough. Let's get on with the talks.”
Netanyahu also said that the US could help the process not only in moderating talks but also with issues like security and the cost for desalinated water in the region.
Posted on July 12, 2010
Source: (By Joshua Spurlock, BFP Israel Mosaic Radio, July 11, 2010)
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