Netanyahu says ‘two states for two peoples’


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu used the term "two states for two peoples" during a meeting of his Cabinet.

Netanyahu used the phrase, for the first time in public since assuming office, during remarks on his first 100 days in office.

"I cannot say that they were 100 days of grace," the prime minister said. "I am not sure that we had even one day of grace but thank God, we are not complaining because we have many achievements, and the first and most important is the establishment of a unity government and that we have given content to this unity on the main issues facing us.

"We have brought a national agreement on the idea of ‘two states for two peoples’ and the outlines of the agreement are, first of all, that the Palestinians will need to recognize the State of Israel as the state of the Jewish people. This says that the problem of the refugees will be resolved outside the State of Israel and that Israel needs — and will receive — defensible borders, and includes the full demilitarization of the Palestinian territory."

Netanyahu did not use the phrase "two states for two people" during a meeting with President Obama in May, nor did he utter it during his major policy speech at Bar Ilan University in May.

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