What should Bibi say in his speech Sunday? Here’s thoughts from a supporter of a two-state solution (Ori Nir, spokesman for Americans for Peace Now) and an opponent (Susie Dym, spokeswoman for the Israeli grassroots organization Mattot Arim).
Netanyahu should say: "I Oppose the Creation of a Palestinian State". And he will not be the first to say so, because beloved Israeli Prime Minister and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Yitzhak Rabin said so all his life.
Netanyahu should say: "A Palestinian state means daily, low-tech rockets in 19 out of 20 of Israeli big cities, including Tel-Aviv, Ramat-Gan, Jerusalem, Rishon lesion, Beer-Sheva, Netanya, Petah-Tikva, Bnei-Brak, Rehovot, Herzlia, Kfar Saba, Modiin, Givatayim, Hadera, Raanana, Bet-Shemesh, Bet-Yam and Holon. We Israelis should not have to put up with this, and we will not allow it to happen."
Netanyahu should say: "A legitimate Palestinian entity forms the most important weapon that Arabs have against Israel," and he will not be the first to say that, because www.fateh.net said it before him (and Fatah are the moderates).
Netayahu should say that Israel’s leaving Judea and Samaria will "put Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Ben Gurion airport well within range of rockets supplied by Iran to terrorist groups," and he will not be the first to say that, either, because human rights expert Prof. Alan Dershowitz has already said it.
Finally, Netanyahu should say: "Palestinians already have a state: Jordan." This was said before him by much admired premier Ariel Sharon (the recording still exists). And when former Hadassah Hospital department chairman Prof. Aryeh Eldad re-stated this just a few weeks ago in Israel’s Knesset, 53 parliament members raised their hands in agreement – and only 9 voted against, half of which were Arab MKs.
Jordan is already the Palestinian state; is it neither just, nor safe — for the sole solitary Jewish state in the world — for there to be a second Palestinian state a bike-ride away from my home. Israel’s children’s entitlement and inheritance hangs in the balance on Sunday.
Ori Nir (who took the more literal approach):
Today we have an opportunity that may never reoccur to reach the kind of regional security that we have been seeking for more than sixty-one years.
I have therefore decided to pursue a path toward peace with the entire Arab world, full normalization with all the Arab and Muslim countries, a final settlement with our Palestinian neighbors, who will commit to an end of claims in return for an independent state in the West Bank and Gaza, and full legitimacy in the international community.
Going down that path will dramatically improve our ability to find a reasonable resolution, with full regional and international support, to the Iranian threat, to tackle our domestic challenges, to strengthen our democracy, our economy, our world standing, and our national moral integrity. We will finally be able to bolster the Zionist dream of our founding fathers: a just, secure, stable, prosperous democratic Jewish state in the Land of Israel.
This opportunity is here because we finally have a partner: President Obama. Unlike his predecessors, Obama is truly determined to bring comprehensive peace to our scarred, cynical region. He has inspired not only the American public but has also captured the hearts and minds of hundreds of millions of people worldwide, including Arabs and Muslims. He is already empowering moderates and reformists in the Middle East, as we see in Iran and Lebanon.
Today, I announce that the state of Israel chooses to contribute whatever it can to this promising transformation. Israel chooses to work with the U.S. President and with moderates in the region to seek stability, security and peace for our people. Israel chooses not to be on the side of the rejectionists. It chooses to say yes; to harness its immense optimism and creativity to the noble task of peacemaking.
It’s an ambitious path. It’s risky. It involves sacrifices, internal strife and may end in failure. But I believe that no Israeli leader can afford to turn down such an opportunity.
Today, I am declaring that I will resume negotiations, in good faith and without preconditions, with the leaders of Syria and Lebanon, with the Palestinian Authority and with any Palestinian leader who is willing to accept the two-state vision. I will come to the table in good faith, having instructed my government to stop all settlement construction in Judea and Samaria — and in East Jerusalem — as long as negotiations are ongoing. We will do it to show our interlocutors that we are serious. We will also promptly remove all the illegal outposts in Judea and Samaria. Settlers who continue to build illegally will be tried and punished.
My fellow Israelis, I am determined to do whatever I can to make this effort a success. It is my duty as a responsible Israeli leader. I urge you to demonstrate a sense of national responsibility and help me steer our country toward a better, secure future.