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Meridor: Israelis will back diplomatic initiative

In an interview with Al-Monitor, former Likud Minister Dan Meridor contends that if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu takes the diplomatic route instead of the status quo, 70% of the Israelis will back him.
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks with Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor (L) during the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem January 17, 2010.    REUTERS/Gali Tibbon/Pool   (JERUSALEM - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR28YSN
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“It will take some time before we know if we restored peace to the south and if we restored our power of deterrence. It will be a few weeks or months or even years before we know if this objective was achieved,” said Dan Meridor, former minister of intelligence and a member of the “Octet,” a group of senior ministers during Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s second term. He was commenting on the end of Operation Protective Edge and the ensuing cease-fire agreement.

In an interview with Al-Monitor on Aug. 27, he called on Netanyahu to complement the military achievement with an Israeli diplomatic initiative, which he said would prevent the situation from escalating into another military conflict in the region. Is Netanyahu interested in that, or is he even capable of starting such an initiative? Meridor, who was shunted out of the Likud’s Knesset list when the party lurched to the right in the past election, has no answer to that question. He is convinced, though, that if Netanyahu takes that route, he will receive the backing of 70% of the Israeli public.

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