It all started for me less than a year ago when I saw Bibi Netanyahu do something he said he would never do. “We regret the loss of life but we will never apologize for defending ourselves,” he emphatically said in 2010. But fast forward to 2013 and he’s apologizing to Turkish PM Erdogan for that very event:
FOX NEWS – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a phone call arranged with help from President Obama, apologized to Turkey Friday for the deaths of its citizens during a 2010 Gaza flotilla raid — in a move to restore ruptured ties between the two nations.
Netanyahu acknowledged “operational mistakes” in the raid, according to one official, and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan accepted the apology.
…Netanyahu also reportedly agreed to compensate the families of the victims.
Not only did he apologize but he agreed to compensate the families of the ‘victims’ in Turkey.
Fast forward to 2014 and Netanyahu, surely under immense pressure from the US as peace talks continue, is once again suggesting he might do something he once called ‘absurd’:
ARUTZ SHEVA – A source in the Prime Minister’s Office told reporters Sunday that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu believes that if a Palestinian state is established in Judea and Samaria, Jews who wish to remain in that state should be allowed to do so.
The source said that Netanyahu believes that there is no reason for the Palestinian state, if it is created, to be “mono-ethnic.”
This idea was quickly met with criticism Economics Minister Naftali Bennett:
“The idea that Jewish communities will live under Palestinian sovereignty, as expressed by the Prime Minister’s Office, is a very grave matter, and it reflects a panicked loss of values,” said Bennett. “2,000 years of longing for the Land of Israel did not transpire so that we could live under Abu Mazen’s rule.”
Some in his own party also warned that they would not back this proposal:
Two Likud MKs also warned against Netanyahu’s idea. Deputy Minister of Transportation, MK Tzipi Hotovely, said that “a diplomatic plan that relegates the Jewish settlement enterprise to Palestinian sovereignty will not receive political backing in Likud. The commitment not to uproot settlements is not enough. It is important that Israeli sovereignty be maintained.”
And now to bring this full circle, IDF Radio played Netanyahu’s remarks from 1999 emphatically opposing the idea:
ARUTZ SHEVA – A recording from 1999 was played Friday morning on IDF Radio (Galei Tzahal). In the recording, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is heard strongly opposing the idea of having Jews living under the Palestinian Authority (PA) – a concept he proposed this week.
“Do you know anyone who would agree to something like that? Find someone who would agree to live under Palestinian rule – it’s absurd,” Netanyahu is heard saying in the recording from 15 years ago. “That’s another way of saying ‘we’re eliminating these settlements by giving them to Palestinian rule.'”
…Netanyahu added in the 1999 interview with Arutz Sheva’s Hagai Segal “we won’t evacuate anyone, and we won’t transfer anyone to the PA, and we won’t uproot communities.”
There is no doubt that being the PM of Israel is a very difficult job, especially these days when Israel’s greatest ally, America, is constantly berating them in front of the world over settlements and trying to get them to bend over backwards to give up more of their land to accommodate a Palestinian state that never existed in the first place. I think it is all taking its toll on Netanyahu and he is beginning to consider doing things he once said would never happen.
We know that there will be a peace treaty signed between Israel and the Muslim nations in the Middle East at some point in the future. Perhaps this weakening of Netanyahu is how we get there.