Netanyahu meeting with Ban Ki-moon in Jerusalem yesterday reflected the widespread view among Israel supporters that the unrest in Arab countries means that resolving the Israel-Palestine conflict has no urgency. Note that the UN Secretary General doesn’t buy it.
Netanyahu: I think it’s important to discuss the real problems and not those that are often discussed in the media. You know it wasn’t till so long ago that people said that the root cause of the instability in the Middle East was the Israeli Palestinian conflict, and now you can’t say that with a straight face, because from the Atlantic Ocean to the Khyber Pass you can see this endemic instability that is plaguing so much of the the Arab and Muslim World. We of course would like to see it, not only restore stability but also restore peace and move toward prosperity and equitable relations among nations including with our nation. But I think today today everybody understands that the root cause in the Middle East and beyond has to do with the convulsion that is historic and cultural in nature of which the Israeli Palestinian conflict is merely one of many, many such manifestations.
As far as the Israeli Palestinian peace process, we have to get to the root cause of the problem, and the root cause was and remains the persistent refusal to recognize the Jewish state in any boundary. It doesn’t have to do with settlements. That’s an issue that has to be resolved, but this is not the reason that we have a continual conflict. The conflict preceded the establishment of a single settlement by a half century…
It’s important to understand that if we build a few hundred apartments in Gilo or Ramot or other Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem or in urban blocs that everyone knows… will be part of the final peace map in Israel– I think these are not the real issues that we need to discuss. The real issue is how to get a demilitarized Palestinian state to finally recognize and accept the one and only Jewish state. [thumping the rostrum].
Ban Ki-moon excerpts:
The Prime Minister knows that occupying Palestinian land is not a long term solution….