Netanyahu: A limit to miracles
Photo: Gil Yohanan
US President Barack Obama
Israel's materializing foreign policy will place the Iranian nuclear issue at the top of its priorities, but won't regard progress on the issue as a condition for negotiations with the Palestinians, Jerusalem officials said Wednesday.
In a meeting between Benjamin Netanyahu and Barack Obama, scheduled for May 18, the prime minister is expected to explain Israel's wariness of a nuclear Iran to the US president and demand that the threat be dealt with.
Netanyahu hinted at his plan for the meeting with Obama during the Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony at Yad Vashem.
"I will not allow the Holocaust deniers to cause another Holocaust," Netanyahu said in his speech. "How many times can one rise as the Jewish people rose after World War II? There is a limit to miracles. The existence of the Jewish people is conditioned upon the existence of Israel and there is currently an entity threatening our existence."
However Netanyahu has not yet formulated a policy regarding the Palestinians. Security Cabinet meetings and closed-door discussions have revealed that the prime minister is willing to adopt parts of the Saudi peace plan that don't include the Palestinian refugees' right of return.
Obama announced during a meeting with Jordan's King Abdullah II on Tuesday that he is expecting to see goodwill gestures from Both Israel's and the Palestinians' side within the next few weeks.
Regarding Israel's borders, Netanyahu says he plans on keeping 50% of the West Bank, including the Jordan Valley.
The prime minister also says he is willing to adopt the two-state solution but demands restrictions be imposed upon any future Palestinian state. He claims Israel was wrong not to insist upon this point during the Annapolis Peace Summit.
Netanyahu is also expected to tell Obama that Israel is not interested in ruling the Palestinian people but will not compromise strategic vantage points and Israel's security.
Among other things his government is demanding control of the Palestinian state's airspace as well as its border crossings, and the power to limit its relations with countries such as Iran.
Regarding relations with Syria, Netanyahu is expected to inform the US president that Israel will not cede the Golan Heights.
"Syria has armed itself, and its armament is endangering Israel's security," a Jerusalem official said. "However the balance of power has been maintained thanks to the IDF's prowess and our control of the Golan."