Bibi may be distancing himself but there is no evidence that he would support a TSS on Arab terms. The source said that the PM “is interested in a resumption of negotiations without preconditions,” and that his positions regarding support for a two-state solution remain in force.. Bibi is ready to embrace a non-existent solution. Big deal. Ted Belman
The Prime Minister’s Office on Saturday firmly distanced itself from comments made to the Times of Israel by Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon that a strong majority in the government and the coalition oppose a two-state solution with the Palestinians and would block the creation of a Palestinian state if such a proposal ever came to a vote.
Danon’s comments “do not represent the position of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the government of Israel,” the sources said in response to Danon’s interview, which was published on Thursday.
Taking the highly unusual step of contacting The Times of Israel during Shabbat to make Netanyahu’s position clear, the sources went on to say that the prime minister “is interested in a resumption of negotiations without preconditions,” and that his positions regarding support for a two-state solution remain in force.
“Netanyahu calls on the president of the Palestinian Authority to restart talks without delay at which all issues will be raised to discussion,” the sources said. “The Palestinian Authority will raise its demands, and Israel will raise its demands which include, among others, stringent security arrangements, recognition of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people, and the declaration of an end to the conflict.”
The sources indicated that it was very important that Netanyahu’s position be prominently restated.
Danny Danon at his office in the Knesset. (photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
It would appear that Danon’s comments may have discomfited the prime minister and caused dismay in the international community, exposing the government’s internal divide on the issue just as US Secretary of State John Kerry heads back to the region on June 11-12, for his fifth visit since taking office, in an effort to get Israel and the PA back to the negotiating table. Earlier in the week, Kerry warned that this might be the last chance to secure a two state solution. “The status quo is simply not sustainable,” Kerry said. “We will find ourselves in a negative spiral of responses and counter-responses that could literally slam the door on a two-state solution.”
Danon’s statements to The Times of Israel came in his first major interview with an Israeli news outlet since he became deputy minister.
“Look at the government: there was never a government discussion, resolution or vote about the two-state solution,” Danon said. “If you will bring it to a vote in the government – nobody will bring it to a vote, it’s not smart to do it – but if you bring it to a vote, you will see the majority of Likud ministers, along with the Jewish Home [party], will be against it.”