Netanyahu told to be a man and freeze settlements

September 22, 2010

An Israeli columnist has told his prime minister to “be a man and freeze the settlements.”

Writing for Haaretz, Aluf Benn said that Netanyahu must inform the cabinet that the freeze on settlement construction will be extended by three months, during which he will conduct intensive negotiations with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on the future border between Israel and Palestine. From the cabinet meeting, Netanyahu must then present him with a daring, unexpected and original map of the border.

“Abbas has proposed focusing on borders and security, and accepting his proposal would be very advantageous for Israel. The more generous Netanyahu is in drawing the border, the more he can receive on the security issue. Drawing the border would enable the sides to discuss the future instead of the past, promote the establishment of a Palestinian state and postpone discussion of the ‘narrative’ demands – recognition of Israel as a Jewish state and a ‘right of return’ for Palestinian refugees – so that they would end up neutralizing each other,” Benn wrote.

According to the columnist, Netanyahu understands that building the settlements is a folly that will not contribute a thing to Israel.

“His excuse for not extending the freeze – that it’s an unfair precondition being posed by Abbas, is weak and unconvincing. There is also incitement in Israeli government circles (Rabbi Ovadia Yosef ) and vocal opposition to the negotiations (Foreign Minister Avidgor Lieberman and Interior Minister Eli Yishai ). Expanding the settlements is meant to prevent the division of the land,” he said.

Settlers would fight Netanyahu and would only paint him as a pathetic dishrag, the columnist said.

“Instead of crawling to them, he must stand up to them like a man and say: That’s enough. He must challenge Yishai and Lieberman to decide whether they are in the government or against it,” Benn wrote.




About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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