December 1, 2015

Brother-in-law of Israel's Prime Minister Says Netanyahu is Opposed to a Bi-national Palestinian and Israeli State, Which Netanyahu Himself Said Before His Reelection in March and Again in October 2015

Relative of Netanyahu says PM against Palestinian state

Amid the current tensions and violence, we speak to Palestinians and Israelis, including Netanyahu's brother-in-law.

Al Jazeera - For the past several weeks, tensions and street violence between the Israelis and Palestinians in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories have taken such a serious turn that many wonder where it will all end.

More than 100 people have been killed and thousands have been wounded - the overwhelming majority Palestinians. The question many are now asking is whether there's any room left for the two communities to peacefully negotiate their differences.

In this edition of Talk to Al Jazeera in the Field, Al Jazeera's Imtiaz Tyab meets people on both sides of the conflict.

With the fundamental argument being about land - in the West Bank, illegal settlements have expanded under the current government - we head to one settlement called Beit El. There we meet Hagai Ben-Artzi, a key settler leader who has a clear opinion about the current conflict and strong views about Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu is married to Ben-Artzi's sister.

Ben-Artzi tells us that he thinks Netanyahu does not believe in a two-state solution.
"Unfortunately, the Israeli government, including my brother-in-law, Benjamin Netanyahu, they, unfortunately - I'm sad to say that - agreed to the two state solution.

"And here, I must say that I have read very carefully, I have also taken part with my brother-in-law in writing his book, in his famous book, A Place Among the Nations. He writes very clearly against the establishment of a Palestinian state.

"[What] I feel is that he made a manoeuvre, some kind of tactic: 'I will say that I agree, but I will act against it.' I don't think it's a good move, although it's regarded as sophisticated; but I have told him several times, 'You have to be sincere,' and I believe, and I know that in his heart and in his mind, he is against the Palestinian state."
When asked if Netanyahu is essentially lying to the world when he says he believes in a two-state solution, Ben-Artzi responds by saying:
"I think that what he is trying to do is to say 'I agree' but to set conditions that he believes will be absolutely unacceptable to the Palestinian side and, as a result, 'I will be good.' The international community will say, 'Oh, he's supporting peace because he is in favour of a Palestinian state.'

"But, in fact, it won't happen because he sets so many conditions that it makes it impossible, practically speaking. So it's not really lying; he is saying, 'I'm in favour.' For example: 'I'm in favour of flying in the air, but on condition that you give me a plane. You are not going to give me a plane, and so I won't fly in the air.' Something like this."

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