It has since gone viral on social networks Facebook and Twitter that recently reelected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has apparently flip-flopped on his views on an Israeli-Palestinian peaceful resolution, in the form of the proposed two-state solution. If you’re new to the controversy, here’s a summary:
In 2009, Netanyahu gave a foreign policy speech, now referred to as the Bar Ilan Speech. In it, for the first time, he publicly stated his support for a possible two-state peaceful solution between Israel and Palestine. To be even more specific, he stated:
“If we receive a guarantee for security arrangements needed for Israel and if the Palestinians recognize Israel as the home of the Jewish people, we will be willing in a future peace deal to reach a solution of a demilitarized Palestinian state side by side with the Jewish state.”
Fast-forward to a few days ago, on March 16th, 2015, the day before the Israeli elections. The media went crazy with the news that Prime Minister Netanyahu has renounced his support for a two-state peace solution. We’ll use vox.com for an example, where they reported:
“Just on Monday, Netanyahu had announced that there would be no Palestinian state under his watch. NRG, an Israeli news site, asked if Netanyahu would oppose the creation of Palestinian state under his watch, and he said ‘indeed.'”
The media portrayed this backtracking and apparent rejection of the two-state peace solution as a last ditch appeal to his hard-line ultra-orthodox Jewish base. As of that day, polls were showing that Netanyahu would be facing a crushing defeat, and this was one of his last appeals to get his base out to vote. As fate would have it, Netanyahu was not in danger of losing reelection, and in turn surprised the world with a crushing victory. All the polls demonstrated that Netanyahu’s Likud Party would only win a mere 20 seats in the Knesset, with the opposition Zionist Union taking the majority. What actually ended up happening was that the Likud, apparently defying all odds, ended up winning 30 seats and retaining the majority.
And now a few days later, on March 19th, 2015, only two days after Netanyahu won reelection, he apparently flip-flopped again, as CNN now reports:
It took two days for Netanyahu’s about face.
“I don’t want a one-state solution. I want a sustainable, peaceful two-state solution,” Netanyahu said Thursday in an interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell. “I haven’t changed my policy.”
It all seems pretty cut and dry, no? Six years ago Netanyahu supported a two-state solution. A few days ago, when he thought he would lose reelection, he changed his mind to appeal to his base, and then two days later after winning reelection, he backtracks his comments and flip-flops back to his original views. Pretty straightforward, right?
Well, it would be, if the little sound bite snippets the news keeps showing were given in their full context, and included the rest of the conversations of what was actually said in these interviews.
Allow me to enlighten and educate.
I found it ironic that the dozens of news reports I found talking about Netanyahu no longer supporting a two-state solution all referenced his interview that day with NRG News in Israel…and yet not one of them actually linked to the original NRG News article. Now, it took me quite a while to find, mainly because it was in Hebrew, and I had to [Read more…]