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Netanyahu zigzags on two-state solution

Throughout his political career, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has battled the 1993 Oslo Accord, backed it, objected to the two-state solution and then supported it again.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) shows the way to European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini during their meeting in Jerusalem May 20, 2015. Netanyahu renewed his commitment on Wednesday to a two-state solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, after backtracking on that pledge during a heated campaign for a March election. REUTERS/Dan Balilty/Pool - RTX1DU9V
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On May 20, a surprise awaited Europe's foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu invited her to his residence for an intimate meeting with only a handful of participants. Before going into the meeting, Netanyahu gave a statement for the cameras: His commitment to a two-state solution was alive and well. He supports the establishment of a demilitarized Palestinian state. The leaks from the meeting itself indicate that behind closed doors, the prime minister went even further, saying he wished to conduct a territorial discussion with Palestinian authorities, even hinting at his willingness to freeze construction in areas outside of the settlement blocs. Israeli media outlets reported that Netanyahu seems to have said in the meeting that he is interested in renewing negotiations to reach understandings on the limits of the settlement blocs that would be annexed to Israel in the framework of a future agreement.

We have heard many a statement from Netanyahu in favor of establishing a Palestinian state. We have also heard statements to the contrary. To refresh readers’ memory, here is a short compilation reflecting Netanyahu’s twists and turns regarding the two-state solution. In 1994, during the stormy opposition to the Rabin government and the Oslo Accord, which he has championed, Netanyahu claimed that the agreement presages a disaster for the Jewish people. In 1996, during the campaign that culminated in his election, candidate Netanyahu vowed that if elected, he would honor that very agreement.

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