Surprise Move: Netanyahu will Negotiate based on Saudi Peace Initiative
- Gil Hoffman
Israel is prepared to hold peace talks based on the Arab Peace Initiative, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu surprisingly declared just moments after new Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman took the oath of office, ending a month-long saga over which party would join Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government.
“I remain committed to making peace with the Palestinians and with all our neighbors,” Netanyahu said in a press conference following the swearing- in ceremony. “The Arab peace initiative includes positive elements that can help revive constructive negotiations with the Palestinians."
“We are willing to negotiate with the Arab states revisions to that initiative so that it reflects the dramatic changes in the region since 2002, but maintains the agreed goal of two states for two peoples.”
The controversial Arab Peace Initiative – long rejected by Jerusalem and also known as the Saudi Initiative – calls for normalizing relations between Arab countries and Israel, in exchange for a complete withdrawal by Israel to pre-1967 lines and a solution to the Palestinian refugee problem.
The Jerusalem Post has learned that Likud MK Tzachi Hanegbi, who was sworn in as minister-without-portfolio in the Prime Minister’s Office and will deal with foreign affairs and defense issues, will be involved in new regional diplomatic initiatives Netanyahu intends to advance in coming weeks. He is the Likud’s most dovish minister.
Netanyahu also praised Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s offer to advance peace and security in the region. Liberman, who has been critical of Egypt in the past, said he agreed with Netanyahu’s statements, including about the Arab peace plan and reiterated Yisrael Beytenu’s long-standing support for a two-state solution.
Normalization Would Be A 'Stab in the Back'
Hazem Abu Shanab, a senior member of Fatah's Revolutionary Council, added that normalization of relations between Israel and Arab states at this time would be a "stab in the back" for the Palestinians.
Note: for context, please consider viewing a prior post HERE
Saudi Arabia Expands Its Anti-Iran Strategy - Angus McDowall
Under King Salman, Saudi Arabia is expanding its confrontation with Iran to Africa, Asia and Latin America, no longer relying on Western allies to smother Tehran's ambitions outside the Arab world. The Saudis are using Muslim networks to push states into cutting off contacts with Iran, including by creating an Islamic Coalition against terrorism last November.
Some African countries have followed many Arab League states in recent months in cutting diplomatic ties with Iran. In January, Sudan cut off ties with Tehran, followed by Djibouti and Somalia.
Palestinian Activist Complains: Official Arab Normalization with Israel Has Reached Critical Proportions
BDS activist Omar Barghouti told the Lebanese channel Palestine Today TV on April 10:
"Unfortunately, the official Arab and even Palestinian normalization [with Israel] is on the rise. We hold the official Palestinian circles primarily responsible for this, because they are the gateway to Arab-Israeli normalization. If official Palestinian normalization had not reached this level, nobody would have dared to host Israeli delegations in Saudi Arabia, sports delegations in Qatar, trade delegations in the UAE, and delegations in Bahrain, Morocco, and so on. Official Arab normalization has reached critical proportions."
Islamic Fear of Zionism Is Irrational - Adnan Oktar
When the Arab-Muslim world recognizes Israel's right to exist as an independent and sovereign state, the century-long bloodshed will cease. Moreover, once the Arab world decides to acknowledge Israel as a neighbor, it can focus on developing the well-being of the Palestinian people, and of the other Arab peoples doing far less well than the Palestinians, too.