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Netanyahu calls for Palestinian nation; metro Detroit reaction mixed

June 24, 2009

His vision of 2 free peoples side by side has some conditions

JERUSALEM — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu endorsed a Palestinian nation beside Israel for the first time Sunday, reversing himself in the face of U.S. pressure but attaching conditions such as demilitarization that Palestinians swiftly rejected. – our comments- We should be ashamed for bowing to Hamas and all the other terrorist supporting states.  The Palestinians already have their state- Jordan!

A week after President Barack Obama’s address to the Muslim world, Netanyahu said the Palestinian nation would have to be unarmed and recognize Israel as a Jewish nation — a condition amounting to Palestinian refugees giving up the goal of returning to Israel.

With those conditions, he said, he could accept “a demilitarized Palestinian state alongside the Jewish state.”

The West Bank-based Palestinian government dismissed the proposal as an attempt to determine the outcome of negotiations while maintaining Israeli settlements, refusing compromise over Jerusalem and ignoring the issue of borders. Palestinian officials also said that demilitarization would solidify Israeli control over them.   – our comments- Notice this!  Israel offers Palestine a State- but Palestine demands more- they want it all!

Netanyahu, in an address seen as his response to Obama, refused to heed the U.S. call for an immediate freeze of construction on land Palestinians claim for their future nation. He also said Jerusalem must remain under Israeli sovereignty.

“Netanyahu’s speech closed the door to permanent status negotiations,” senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat said. “We ask the world not to be fooled by his use of the term ‘Palestinian state’ because he qualified it. He declared Jerusalem the capital of Israel, said refugees would not be negotiated and that settlements would remain.”

But the White House said Obama welcomed the speech as an “important step forward.”

Reaction from metro Detroit’s Arab and Jewish communities was mixed Sunday.

“I see it as a sad day for the hope of peace; Mr. Netanyahu’s claimed acknowledgement and acceptance of Palestinian statehood is baloney,” said Imad Hamad, regional director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. “There’s no value to a state if it’s not viable. There’s no value to a state if it doesn’t have the basics.”

But Robert Cohen, executive director of the local Jewish Community Relations Council, was hopeful.

“We were pleased to see Prime Minister Netanyahu set forth his vision of peace, committing to a Palestinian state, living side by side in peace with an Israeli state. … Now the onus is really on the Palestinians and the Arab world to respond in a productive way, a constructive way.”

‘Let’s make peace’

Netanyahu’s address was a dramatic transformation for a man who was raised on a nationalistic ideology and has spent a political career criticizing peace efforts.   – our comments- Read Carefully- Peace efforts with Islamic States are always futile- because Islam always claims that everything belongs to them.

“I call on you, our Palestinian neighbors, and to the leadership of the Palestinian Authority: Let us begin peace negotiations immediately, without preconditions,” he said.

Since assuming office in March, Netanyahu has been caught between U.S. demands to begin peace talks with the Palestinians and the constraints of a hard-line coalition. With his speech, he appeared to favor Israel’s all-important relationship with the United States, at the risk of destabilizing his government.

Rabbi Alon Tolwin, director of executive learning at Aish HaTorah of Metro Detroit, applauded the proposal but said, “We’ve offered them up to 92% of the West Bank and all they’re able to do is fight amongst themselves and throw missiles at us,” Tolwin said. “We’re not interested in ruling them. We’re interested in giving them their autonomy, but at what expense?”       -our comments–     They (Muslims) want it all- they want no peace.  Wake up America- read their book.

Not everyone is on board

Netanyahu laid out his vision at Bar-Ilan University, and his call for establishing a Palestinian nation was greeted with lukewarm applause.

The Palestinians want all of the West Bank as part of a future nation, with east Jerusalem as their capital. Israel captured both areas in the 1967 Mideast war.

Terry Ahwal, a Palestinian American from Canton, was pessimistic.

“Netanyahu is playing the same old game, nothing new, proposing ghettos, appeasing his racist, right-wing cabinet,” the member of the Detroit-based Ramallah Federation’s executive board said. They “have no intention whatsoever to move forward with peace, which is really a shame.”

Free Press staff writer Zlati Meyer contributed to this report.

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