Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has wasted his two years in office without truly attempting to achieve peace with the Palestinians, controversial New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman has written in his latest opinion article.
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"Netanyahu has not spent his time in office using Israel’s creativity to find ways to do a (peace) deal. He has spent his time trying to avoid such a deal — and everyone knows it. No one is fooled," Friedman wrote.
Ahead of Netanyahu's meeting with US President Barack Obama on Friday, Friedman added that "the only way for Netanyahu to be taken seriously again is if he risks some political capital and actually surprises people".
Regarding the prime minister's comments during a Knesset speech, in which he said Israel was willing to cede certain areas in negotiations, Friedman responded, "Fine, put a map on the table. Let’s see what you’re talking about. Or how about removing the illegal West Bank settlements built by renegade settler groups against the will of Israel’s government."
The columnist added that Netanyahu should not be addressing the US Congress, but rather the "Palestinians down the street".
"And it is equally silly for the Palestinians to be going to the United Nations for a state when they need to be persuading Israelis why a Hamas-Fatah rapprochement is in their security interest," Friedman wrote.
The columnist also called on the US to prevent another Mideast conflict. "The best we can do now is manage the unavoidable and avoid the unmanageable," he wrote.