AIPAC promotes Netanyahu on two states (and ignores the statements from the rest of his government)

AIPAC adjusted
AIPAC, adjusted

A friend sent along this adjustment to an image from AIPAC’s Facebook page.

AIPAC’s campaign seems to be coming in response to J Street’s push to pin down the Israeli government on whether they support a Palestinian state or not. The question keeps coming up with members of Netanyahu’s government and the answer seems to be a clear, “no.”

On Tuesday Haaretz‘s Barak Ravid reported on “rifts over peace process” within the Netanyahu government. The story covers a debate in the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee over whether the Israeli goverment has an official position supporting a Palestinian state in advance of John Kerry’s visit:

The divisive issue came up during the first five minutes of the discussion, when former Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin (Likud) interrupted Livni: “Does the government already have a uniform position regarding Secretary of State John Kerry’s initiative?” he asked. “It seems there are substantial divides inside the government.”

Livni did not avoid the question, saying that “the government’s shared goal is to restart negotiations with the Palestinians. It is no secret that there are differences among government members over the Palestinian issue and what an agreement with them should look like, but the policy is negotiations based on two national states which will bring an end to the conflict.”

MK Orit Strock from Habayit Hayehdi cut Livni off. “Two states for two peoples is not the government’s official position,” she said. “It is not part of the government’s guiding principles, and for good reason. This is perhaps Netanyahu’s position and your position, but it has not been accepted as the government’s position.”

The meeting followed on the heels of a Jodi Rudoren interview with Yair Lapid last Sunday where the Israeli Finance Minister was asked about his view of the peace process. While Lapid gives lip service to the two-state solution, he opposes any Israeli concessions that would actually make it possible. From Rudoren’s interview:

An avowed centrist, Mr. Lapid nevertheless took a hard line on policy toward the Palestinians, the issue that has defined Israeli politics for decades but that was overshadowed by domestic concerns in the recent campaign. He said that Israel should not change its policy on Israeli settlements in the West Bank in order to revive the stalemated peace process, and that Jerusalem should not serve as the capital of a future Palestinian state — an essential part of Palestinian plans.

Mr. Lapid acknowledged that tens of thousands of Jews would someday be uprooted from what he described as “remote settlements” in the West Bank, something he called “heartbreaking.” But he said that problem should be set aside for now, advocating the immediate creation of an interim Palestinian state in parts of the West Bank where no Jews live, with final borders drawn in perhaps three, four or five years. Palestinian leaders have roundly rejected temporary borders.

While he described the two-state solution as “crucial” to preserving Israel as a Jewish nation, he offered no hints of Israeli concessions that could break the stalemate in the peace process. Instead, he repeatedly said he hoped that Secretary of State John Kerry, who is scheduled to arrive here this week for his fourth visit in two months, would “jump-start” it.

And he expressed extreme skepticism about the likelihood of reaching a deal with President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, saying, “He’s one of the founding fathers of the victimizing concept of the Palestinians.”

He also questioned whether Palestinians truly wanted a state.

The interview is getting attention in Israel. Haaretz columnist Ari Shavit says Lapid’s ambiguous stance towards the peace process has now been clarified and he is “the new icon of right-wing Tel Aviv.” Shavit continues:

But the political significance of Lapid’s words is clear: They block the path to a peace agreement and do not allow a unilateral move. They restrain the Finance Minister and bind Netanyahu − and turn the government into a government of the old, new and extreme right. The celebrity who came to change things did not really intend on changing the status quo in Judea and Samaria. The star who promised to cut the budget of the settlement enterprise is now about to send the settlements billions. While he waits for an undefined peace that will never arrive, the brother of Naftali Bennett is ready to promote Bennett’s dream of a million settlers. Without intending to do so and without being aware of it, Lapid is about to bury once and for all the idea of dividing up the land of Israel.

About Philip Weiss and Adam Horowitz

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3 Responses

  1. Abdul-Rahman
    May 24, 2013, 11:48 am

    “AIPAC promotes Netanayahu on two states”

    Reminded me of this analysis by Fareed Zakaria

    Zakaria shows that Benjamin Mileikowsky (aka Netanyahu, or as others call him “lovingly” Nitwityahoo) in the past was so anti-Palestinian state (using the old Zionist canard that supposedly “Palestine is Jordan”, i.e. the Zionist propaganda, that was started by the Revisionist Zionist movement of Vladimir Jabotinsky whose personal secretary was Benjamin’s father, to try to fool people who aren’t informed on the separate history of the rise of the Emirate of Transjordan which is today the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, etc.) he even floated the idea of a Zionist dominated “one-state solution” where the Palestinians in the occupied territories would be given some form of Israeli citizenship (likely to be tenth class pseudo-“citizenship” with a lifetime of continuous institutionalized discrimination and continued total disenfranchisement of course).

  2. Ramzi Jaber
    May 25, 2013, 8:09 am

    When AIPAC starts to promote the 2SS, you know there is something wrong with that approach!!! As always, The zionists and AIPAC are late to the game. The actions of the zionist regime leaves only one possible option: 1S1P1V, supported by action at the ICC/ICJ.

  3. Bandolero
    May 26, 2013, 11:24 am

    I think it’s a misunderstanding.

    Netanyahu loves endless & cost free “peace talks with the Palestinians” without ever having them any result. Such “peace talks” give Israel & Netanyahu cover to continue the colonialisation procsss on the ground.

    And AIPAC promotes just that. AIPAC does not “promote Netanyahu on two states”. It just promotes Netanyahu’s endless talks strategy.

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