Daily VideoMarch 17, 2015
Netanyahu declares he will not support a Palestinian state
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he would not establish a Palestinian state shortly before defeating opponent Isaac Herzog in the Israeli election. The creation of a Palestinian state would give “attack grounds” to Israeli’s opponents, he said.
The statement was a clear reversal from a 2009 remark in which Netanyahu said he would be open to a two-state solution. Under that plan, Israel would continue to exist as a Jewish state alongside a State of Palestine.
“It is a significant turnaround, a clear sign that Netanyahu knows he is fighting for his political survival,” NewsHour special correspondent Martin Seemungal reported.
World leaders have been pushing for a two-state solution for decades, but many details, including the borders of a Palestinian state, remain unclear and negotiations have stalled.
Netanyahu and his conservative Likud party focused on international security issues during this election, Seemungal said. Earlier this month, Netanyahu took a strong stance against Iran and its nuclear program in a controversial speech in front of the U.S. Congress.
But Netanyahu’s center-left opponents, led by the Labor party’s Herzog, said he neglected domestic issues such as the economy and the rising cost of living and housing.
Warm up questions
- What do you know about the relationship between Palestinians and Israel?
- How does an election change the way the leader of a country addresses controversial issues?
Critical thinking questions
- Netanyahu previously said that he supports a two-state solution, but changed his position this week. How could this affect the relationship between Israel and other nations, such as the U.S.?
- Why do you think Netanyahu changed his stance? Can you think of any other examples of politicians changing their opinion on a particular topic during an election?
- Do you think there will be a two-state solution in the next ten years? Why or why not?
This post has been updated throughout.
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