A member of the Israeli parliament has called on Benjamin Netanyahu not to waste any more time over telling the Palestinian Authority that he is ready to accept the establishment of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital. Speaking on Hebrew Radio, Meir Sheetrit of the Kadima Party stressed the possibility of Israel relinquishing control of the Arab areas of East Jerusalem – with the exception of the holy places – and guaranteeing freedom of movement in the city for people of all faiths. If Israel accepts the Arab peace initiative, he added, normalisation of relations between Israel and the Arab states would follow.
Mr. Sheetrit is a former Minister of the Interior and his statement should carry a lot of weight politically. There have been discussions about changes to the government, particularly in the event of the extreme right-wing faction’s withdrawal from the current coalition in protest at the peace talks with the Palestinians. If that happens, Kadima could take its place and join the government, making MPs like Mr. Sheetrit more influential.