Days before Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is to meet with President Obama, he laid out his principles Monday for accepting a Palestinian state, showing greater flexibility on territory but still pursuing a far more hawkish approach than any Palestinian leader is likely to accept.And what is Netanyahu's "hawkish" approach?
Mr. Netanyahu showed more willingness to yield territory than he had before, strongly implying that he would give up the vast majority of the West Bank for a demilitarized Palestinian state. He said Israel needed to hold onto all of Jerusalem and the large settlement blocs in the West Bank, thereby suggesting that he would yield the rest.Netanyahu has proposed something very close to the Clinton parameters of 2001 (the major exceptions being the recognition of Israel as the "Jewish state," and possibly parts of Jerusalem.) But when a Likud leader proposes a compromise that gets utterly rejected by Palestinian Arabs without even a counter-offer, it is Israel that is regarded as being intransigent and "hawkish."
The other principles he enumerated included Palestinian recognition of Israel as the home of the Jewish people, an agreement to end the conflict, resolving the refugee problem only within the new state of Palestine and an Israeli military presence in the Jordan Valley.
Palestinian leaders have repeatedly rejected every one of those.
Recall, also, that it is Abbas who is refusing to hold talks, not Netanyahu.
By any yardstick, it is Abbas who is being "hawkish." But that doesn't fit into the NYT meme of Israel being the guilty party in negotiations.
Bronner, who used to be somewhat even-handed, has gone way downhill in recent weeks.
(h/t David G)