The images coming from Iran are incredible. This is certainly the top story coming out of the Middle East. Along side are the continuing developments of the Middle East peace drive.
A recent poll indicates a big jump in support for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu following his foreign policy speech given in Israel Sunday. Numbers are indicating that he is supported by 71% of the Israeli public now.
In his 25 minute, 2,000-word speech, the Prime Minister declared the concept of a Palestinian state as the basis for a peace deal by saying “we (Israel) are willing to accept a demilitarized Palestinian State.”
That idea is not new – but from his lips it is.
There are conditions for all this:
1) The Palestinians must recognize Israel as Jewish State.
2) The Solution to the Palestinian refugee problem lies Outside of Israel's borders.
3) Jerusalem, Israel's capital, will remain united.
4) The US will be responsible for Palestinian demilitarization.
Thus the Palestinian Authority has branded Mr. Netanyahu a 'swindler' and a 'liar', saying that even after a thousand years he won't find anyone to work with him.
But the Palestinians are not the only ones upset. The Israeli settlers are calling Mr. Netanyahu a coward (after he called them “principled” in his speech). But the voice heard above all comes from the White House: Praising the step forward.
While we mention the subject of the settlers, Mr. Netanyahu has partly maneuvered to 'put them on the ropes'. The analysts are commenting that they must not repeat their mistakes, mistakes which pushed them outside the Israeli public opinion camp and depicted them as the main stumbling block to every diplomatic solution to peace.
But the main point is still evident, a demilitarized Palestinian state alongside Israel is not a penalty – but rather an interest, for Israel.
Middle East Correspondent