You have to hand it to Benjamin Netanyahu.
The Israeli prime minister had us going for awhile. As the Israeli election drew near, he seemed to suggest that he was pulling back his support for a Palestinian state in the Middle East.
Then what happens? Bibi goes and wins re-election, his Likud Party keeps control of the Knesset and then he said, “Hey, I didn’t mean quite what I seemed to say just the other day.”
And to think some folks thought Bibi had emerged as the world’s premier statesman. It turns out he’s just like most of the rest of the world’s politicians: He’ll say just about anything to get elected.
Frankly, I’m glad he’s softening his tone on Palestine.
Bibi said on MSNBC: “I don’t want a one-state solution; I want a sustainable, peaceful two-state solution, but for that, circumstances have to change,” he said. “I was talking about what is achievable and what is not achievable. To make it achievable, then you have to have real negotiations with people who are committed to peace.”
Ah, yes. But as the New York Times reported: “The White House and European leaders had expressed alarm over Mr. Netanyahu’s pre-election statement, on the eve of what had seemed like a close race, that there would never be a Palestinian state as long as he remained in office.”
He’s back-pedaling from his pre-election hard line.
The Obama administration still doesn’t seem to trust him fully. The White House doubts his commitment to a two-state solution.
Whatever the case, Bibi shows that even would-be statesmen are capable of saying one thing in public and meaning something else in private.