|Sunday’s cabinet meeting (photo by Alex Kolomvisky)|
During a debate on anti-Israel incitement in the Palestinian media that took place on Sunday morning, Barak said, “the issue of incitement is very important, but it is only part of the broader picture.”
“I suggest that we convene the security cabinet and debate between us the Palestinian issue, the meaning of the stalled peace process, and ways that we can progress,” he said.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not directly respond to Barak, although he revealed the differences of opinion … in his closing remarks at the end of the meeting.
“The Palestinian leadership bequeaths incitement to future generations and prevents them from moving to the discourse of peace,” he said.
In contrast to the Iran nuclear issue, where there appears to be a consensus between the two, they seriously disagree when it comes to the Palestinians. In private conversations, Barak says that, “Israel is living on borrowed time” in everything related to the Palestinians. Barak is convinced that despite the shortcomings of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, and his refusal to negotiate with Netanyahu,* Israel has a strategic and tactical interest in getting out of the stalemate in negotiations with the Palestinians.
“It is important that we do not stop searching for a way to advancing with the Palestinians, either to a permanent settlement, or to an interim settlement,” Barak said in an interview on Israel Radio last Thursday. “If these two things do not take place we must look for a way to advance to a unilateral, or a coordinated unilateral solution.”….
*Our understanding is not that PA Pres. Abbas is simply refusing to negotiate with Netanyahu (as most Israelis believe) but that he is reluctant to negotiate with an Israeli leadership that does not suspend the construction of settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, areas that need to be negotiated over. As discussed here in April, Abbas has delivered a framework for an agreement with Israel that is reasonable and moderate, but has not been duly responded to by Israel.