by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
(IsraelNN.com) “The Land of Israel is divided. The question is how it will be divided in the future,” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told the Hebrew-language daily Israel HaYom (Israel Today) in an interview published Wednesday. He emphasized the security aspect concerning the future borders of Israel and of a “Palestinian entity,” a phrase he used before conceding in the face of pressure from U.S. President Barack Obama that he would acknowledge a Palestinian Authority state under certain conditions.
“There are those who envisioned from the beginning that the borders would be along the 1967 lines [prior to the Six-Day War], which are not defensible," he said in the interview. "Israel today needs borders where it can always defend itself.”
In his statements he did not specify what he sees as the borders of an Arab entity or state, and he did not comment on the future of outlying Jewish communities. The consensus in the government coalition and among most Israelis, according to polls, is that large centers of Jewish populations must remain under Israeli sovereignty.
These areas include Ma'aleh Adumim (east of Jerusalem), Gush Etzion (south of the capital) and probably Ariel (east of Tel Aviv). The Prime Minister did not specify which areas in Judea and Samaria are needed for the defense of the rest of the country and which areas can be surrendered without sacrificing security.
Concerning the PA, he said, “I demand from them what no one else has demanded the past five years. I expect its leadership to tell the truth to its people as I am telling you things that are not pleasant for a portion of your readers.” Israel HaYom is owned by American billionaire and Likud supporter Sheldon Adelson and is the only mass circulation Hebrew-language daily that comes close to being in favor of a Jewish presence throughout most or all of Judea and Samaria.
Prime Minister Netanyahu added that he has no desire to govern 1.5 million Arabs in Judea and Samaria. “We need to find a true solution to coexistence,” he said. “It is clear that they need to rule themselves in any final status solution – but without the authority and ability to threaten Israel."
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