Israel Wants an Enduring Peace Based on Reality

By Sharone Levinson, May 20, 2011

Today, we witnessed a rare event in the International diplomacy. Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu sat with President Obama to speak with the press, following a long meeting between the two leaders. After tense reactions erupted in Jerusalem in response to Obama’s Middle East speech yesterday, the media eagerly anticipated this briefing. Act For Israel, waited right along with them.

We expected the differences between the two leaders to be long and wide but what we gathered in the aftermath is they are not as significant as the media initially reported. Both leaders are committed to working together for a genuine peace.

Netanyahu was refreshingly candid. This type of authenticity is rarely seen in the diplomatic arena. We are used to hearing politicians promote their talking points yet it is rare to hear a leader who is able to speak authentically and in a manner that accurately reflects the fears and aspirations of his people. That is exactly what we have been fortunate enough to experience today.

Netanyahu framed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the context of Jewish history. Rick Klein, Senior Washington Editor at ABC Nightly News eloquently described the briefing via Twitter @rickklein today:

Rick Klein 300x128 Israel Wants an Enduring Peace Based on Reality

It couldn’t have been easy to sit next to Obama and insert your own dose of reality.  But, Netanyahu managed to do just that, pushing back on three main issues.

Issue #1 ’67 Lines

Netanyahu stated clearly that Israel will not return to the exact formation of the ‘67 lines, as they are indefensible. He went on to remind the American audience that prior to the ‘67 war, Israel was 9 miles wide, half the width of the DC beltway. Clearly, such an arrangement will prevent Israel from managing the most basic security concerns.

Issue #2 Right-of-Return

Netanyahu clearly stated that the issue of refugees has to be dealt with. He then confirmed it would not be dealt with within Israel’s borders. Arab Nations who attacked Israel in ‘48 created two refugee problems, a Palestinian one and a Jewish one. The tiny Jewish state absorbed the Jewish refugees. Arab nations, however, refused to absorb the Palestinian refugees. While the Palestinian Authority wants Israel to accept the grandchildren and great grandchildren of these refugees 63 years later, this will not happen. Doing so would automatically eliminate the Jewish State.

Issue #3 Negotiating process

Netanyahu calmly stated that Israel will not give up its only bargaining chip for nothing. While he said Israel is willing to make generous compromises, any and all compromises will have to be a part of a final peace agreement that will result in the “finality of all claims.” Netanyahu stated:

“Israel wants peace. I want peace. A peace that will hold, that will endure.”

Clearly, Israel is willing to work for peace.  And, the peace Israel seeks is a viable peace that will resolve all claims against the State of Israel.

For the full text of today’s briefings simply click HERE


Sharone Levinson

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