|Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli politician (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Comments made by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his election campaign this March have drawn criticism from internationals insisting on a two-state solution—one Jewish state and one Palestinian.
Netanyahu, whose party won the most seats in Israel’s March 17 election, has been accused of backtracking on support for a "two-state" approach to peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority after revealing his concern that it is not possible to form a Palestinian state today.
"I think that anyone who goes about establishing a Palestinian state today and vacating territory is giving attack territory to extremist Islam, to be used against the state of Israel. … Whoever ignores this is putting his head in the sand,"
Netanyahu said during his campaign.
Since Netanyahu's June 14, 2009, Bar-Ilan speech, when he announced his vision of peace as "two free peoples living side by side," Netanyahu has supported a two-state solution in talks with PA negotiators and internationals.
In an interview with MSNBC on Thursday, Netanyahu said, “I never retracted my speech at Bar-Ilan University six years ago calling for a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes a Jewish state.”
“What has changed is the reality,” he explained. “[Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas] the Palestinian leader refuses to recognize the Jewish state and has made a pact with Hamas that calls for the destruction of the Jewish state, and every territory that is vacated today in the Middle East is taken up by Islamist forces. We want that to change so that we can realize a vision of real, sustained peace. I don’t want a one-state solution. I want a sustainable, peaceful two-state solution, but for that, circumstances have to change.” (Times of Israel)