Friday, May 15, 2009

The Philadelphia Bulletin: Pressure on Israel's PM Before Talks with Obama

by David Bedein

Leading members of Israel’s ruling coalition in the Knesset gave Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a firm message Thursday in advance of Monday’s meeting with President Barack Obama in Washington.

Their message: “You have no mandate for concessions.”

Those who participated in the large public morning meeting of the Likud-led coalition, organized by Likud member Danny Danon, called for Mr. Netanyahu not to yield any ground on the establishment of a Palestinian state.

“The Palestinian state idea should be brought to a halt,” they said.

Shas Knesset member Haim Amsalem said his conservative religious party would not support a Palestinian state.

Even the Knesset member who is closest to Mr. Netanyahu, Ophir Okunis, reminded Israel’s prime minister the Likud Central Committee had rejected the two-state solution in the past.

In recent weeks, organizations associated with Israel’s governing coalition have harshly criticized Mr. Netanyahu. They claim he is continuing the Olmert government’s policies of giving the U.S. the impression Israel would allow the establishment of a sovereign, independent Palestinian state to the east.

They fear doing so would foster the same sort of terror threat that Israel now faces from Gaza.

See this story in the Philadelphia Bulletin
See this story at Israel Behind the News

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