Netanyahu calls Arab states to restart peace talks

Israeli PM Netanyahu calls Arab states to restart peace talks, backtracks his election promises

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday he looks for Arab states to insist the Palestinians to return to peace talks due to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Netanyahu spoke to an annual Herzliya Conference near Tel Aviv and blamed the Palestinians for the 14-month deadlock in negotiations.

"There might be an opening because some of the Arab states silently agree with [my position] ... [and] they might be in a position to influence the Palestinians to adopt a more conciliatory and positive approach," he said during the strategic conference.

His latests remarks came as a surprise considering his election promises this year.

One day before the Israeli parliamentary elections on March 17, Netanyahu had said there will not be any independent Palestinian nation as long as he serves as PM.

No comment has been made by Arab states on Netanyahu’s remarks.

"I don't see a stable agreement during my lifetime, and I intend to live a bit longer," Israeli Defence Minister and one of Netanyahu’s closest allies, Moshe Yaalon said in the same conference. His remark is one of the poorest remarks from a top-level cabinet member since the talks broke off.

Netanyahu had said in March in a Facebook video post, “The right-wing government is in danger… Funding from foreign governments to get more Israeli Arabs to vote worked, which means all Right-wing voters must make sure to go to the polls."

Netanyahu’s remarks have been denounced as “racist” by the international community and have drawn reaction among the Israel’s Arab minority, which makes up 20 percent of the Jewish state.

In a video clip message posted on his Facebook page on March 23, Netanyahu expressed his apology for the anti-Arab remarks made just before the Israeli parliamentary election last weekend. "I know that the things I said a few days ago hurt some citizens, the Arab Israeli citizens," said Israeli prime minister.

US-mediated peace talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians were stalled in April 2014 when the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah faction declared a joint government with Gaza’s Hamas authorities in response to Israel’s continued illegal settlement building in the occupied territories of the West Bank.

TRTWorld and agencies