Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at cabinet meeting
Photo: Dudi Vaaknin
PM urges Opposition to support peace principles
Netanyahu calls on Kadima members to 'act responsibly', back his vision for Israeli-Palestinian peace. Principles 'express consensus within the Israeli public,' he states

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu used Sunday's cabinet meeting to urge the Opposition to "act responsibly", calling on its members to show their support for the political principles he detailed during his visit to Europe last week, principles he said were given "due attention".


These principles, Netanyahu said, include the need for a recognition of Israel as the Jewish state, international defense guarantees, a demilitarized Palestinian state, the need to find a solution to the refugee problem outside of Israel and declaring an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 


He refrained, however, from speaking of settlement expansion, which is the main bone of contention between Israel, the United States and the European Union.


Within the Opposition, the prime minister already has the support of Knesset Member Otniel Schneller (Kadima), which called on his fellow parliamentarians to support "The government's struggle with the Americans and the world over the matter of natural growth."


"I returned Thursday from a very important round of talks with the leaders of Italy and France," Netanyahu told the ministers. "I presented them with our principles for peace and security, as I stated in my Bar Ilan speech, and I sought to convince them it is the right, just and practical way to reach an agreement with the Palestinians.


"I found them to be attentive to these principles and I saw there was a true international willingness to accept them as the principles for peace."


These principles, he added, "express a wide consensus within the Israeli public. I call on the Opposition to back them. A responsible opposition lends its support, and I expect the members of the Opposition to stand by these principles."


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