JERUSALEM (JTA) – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on the Israeli opposition to back the principles for a Palestinian state that he laid out in his recent policy speech.
Netanyahu made the call at the weekly Cabinet meeting Sunday, reminding the main opposition Kadima Party and parties further to the left that the principles include Arab recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, a demilitarized Palestinian state, no right of return of Palestinian refugees to Israel, international guarantees for Israel’s defense and an official end to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
The principles, Netanyahu said, "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 behind them."
While Netanyahu did not address the issue of natural growth in settlements, Kadima lawmaker Otniel Schneller called on the opposition lawmakers to support Netanyahu and "the government’s struggle with the Americans and the world over the matter of natural growth."
Meanwhile, Kadima’s No. 2 lawmaker, Shaul Mofaz, on Sunday called on Kadima chair Tzipi Livni to join the unity government now that it has accepted the principle of two states for two people.