Israel Offers Settlement Freeze ... With Strings Attached
Posted on Oct 11, 2010
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made a public offer that Israel will again put a hold on building settlements in the West Bank if Palestinians officially recognize Israel as a Jewish state, according to the BBC.
Palestinian officials have argued in the past that recognising Israel as a Jewish state would compromise the rights of 20% of the Israeli population that is not Jewish, and cancel the right of Palestinian refugees to return to Israel.
Speaking at the opening of the winter session of the Israeli parliament, Mr Netanyahu said: “If the Palestinian leadership will unequivocally say to its people that it recognises Israel as the national state of the Jewish people, I will be ready to convene my cabinet and ask for another moratorium on building.”
He said the offer, and its attached condition, had already been passed to the Palestinians “though quiet channels” and now he was making it public.
[...] A senior Palestinian negotiator said the Palestinians had long ago recognised the state of Israel and that the real issue threatening the talks was illegal Jewish settlements on occupied land.
White House / Pete Souza
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a 2009 visit to the White House.