Jewish Journal

Israel’s Netanyahu a hardliner no more?

by Brad A. Greenberg

June 14, 2009 | 4:03 pm

Becoming Israeli prime minister had a dramatically moderating influence on Ariel Sharon. Could the same be true for Benjamin Netanyahu? Today the Israeli leader said he would support a demilitarized Palestinian state—so long as that state recognizes Israel as a Jewish state

If Israel receives assurances that the two conditions are met, Netanyahu said, “we will be ready in the future” for a “demilitarized Palestinian state that exists alongside a Jewish state.” Such a demilitarized state, he said, could not import weapons, make pacts with enemies of Israel and would not be able to close its airspace to Israel.

Netanyahu also called for immediate peace talks with Palestinian leaders, without preconditions.

“We want both Israeli and Palestinian children to live without war,” he said, citing the root of conflict to the refusal of regional entities to accept Israel as Jewish state. “We must ask ourselves, why has peace not yet arrived after 60 years?”

That’s a good question, though I think it’s one most interested observers would say they know the answer to.

Read more from JTA here.

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