Two days after his resounding re-election, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took the US airwaves on Thursday to assuage White House concerns that he has backtracked from the two-state solution and moved far to the right.
“I never retracted my speech in Bar Ilan University six years ago calling for a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognized the Jewish state,” Netanyahu said in an interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell.
“I want a sustainable peaceful two-state solution. But for that, circumstances have to change,” he said.
The interview came a day after both White House and State Department officials spoke of a re-evaluation of its approach to the Middle East diplomatic process, following Netanyahu’s comment that a Palestinian state would not emerge under his tenure.
Administration officials hinted broadly that the Obama administration may for the first time back a UN Security Council resolution laying down the principles for a two-state solution, or support a Palestinian bid to join the UN as a full member.
Netanyahu said that while he has not backtracked on his Bar-Ilan University speech, the reality has changed. He blamed Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas for being responsible for part of that change in reality, saying that he refuses to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, and has made a pact with Hamas that calls for Israel’s destruction.
He also said that all territory vacated in the Middle East is taken over by Islamist forces.
In the interview Netanyahu spoke of the need for him and US President Barack Obama to work together, saying there was an “unbreakable bond between Israel and the United States.”
Read more: http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Netanyahu-backs-off-opposition-to-a-Palestinian-state-NBC-reports-394479