Ahead of Obama’s prospective visit to Israel, on Monday Israeli PM, Benjamin Netanyahu, reaffirmed his commitment to the ‘two state’ solution with the Palestinians and raised further concerns over threats of Iranian nukes.
According to reports by Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, speaking at the conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations in Jerusalem, Netanyahu said that he is still committed to what he stated in his Bar-Ilan speech four years ago.
In 2009, Netanyahu gave a speech at a conference in Bar-Ilan University in which he said that he supported a ‘two state’ solution with the Palestinians. He then went on to state exactly what he meant by that concept, “I believe that a framework for peace (with the Palestinians) is two states for two peoples: A demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes the Jewish state.”
Regarding the deadlock in negotiations with the Palestinians during the four years from 2009 to 2012, Netanyahu attributed the reasons for this to Palestinian pre-conditions. He stressed that there should be no such pre-conditions when the Palestinians require negotiations to be resumed.
“To reach this solution means to negotiate in good faith. That means you don’t place preconditions. For the past four years, the Palestinians have regrettably put in place preconditions time after time. My hope is that they leave them aside and get to the negotiating table,” he said.
In his Monday speech, Netanyahu also raised his concerns about Iranian nuclear uranium. He said that Iran is coming closer to the red line he drew at the UN last September when he asserted it would own enough depleted uranium for an atomic bomb next summer.
“I drew a line at the UN, they have not crossed that line, but what they are doing is shortening the time that it will take them to cross it. And the way they are doing this is by putting in new faster centrifuges that cut the time by one third,” he said, “this has to be stopped in the interest of peace and security and in the interest of the entire world.”
Considering economic sanctions are not enough of a deterrent to Iran, Yedioth Ahronoth reported that as expected, the Israeli prime minister said that sanctions on Iran must be upgraded to reach the point of a “military threat”. He explained to the attendants that “nothing else will do the job.”
Netanyahu has been mobilizing a global sense against Iran’s nuclear ambitions; however Iran has continued to hold that it is enriching uranium for peaceful means. Different media sources in Iran today (12.02) have reported the government as saying it has started to change its enriched uranium into fuel that will slow the growth of its stock to be used otherwise in atomic bombs.
Iran also said that it will agree to inspection of its nuclear labs if ‘nuclear rights’ were honoured.
Mobilising against Syria
According to analysts, what is clear is that Netanyahu is preparing an international sense to attack Syria. During his speech at the conference in Jerusalem, he said that Syria owns the most effective weapons in the world and, therefore, these weapons can change the map of the entire region.
“Damascus possesses the world’s most developed weapons that can change the balance of power in the Middle East,” he said. “Israel will not sit idly by and let those weapons fall into the hands of terrorists,” he added.