New Israeli government seeks 'historic compromise' with Palestinians
JERUSALEM — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday that Israel is ready for a “historic compromise” in talks with the Palestinians as he presented a new government that is a mix of centrists and hawkish supporters of Jewish settlement in the West Bank.
Speaking in parliament before the 22 ministers were sworn in, Netanyahu said that, while the cabinet would work to carry out domestic reforms that were the focus of Israel's election in January, the government's top priority would be “protecting the security of the state and its citizens.”
Israel feels threats from Iran's nuclear program and the upheaval in Syria, he said, where stockpiles of “some of the deadliest weapons on earth” could fall into the hands of militants. Israel would “take all measures necessary to prevent those weapons from falling in the hands of the terrorist organizations,” he pledged.
Two days before a planned visit by President Obama, who is expected to explore options for renewing stalled peace negotiations with the Palestinians, Netanyahu struck a conciliatory tone.
“The new government in Israel extends its hand for peace with our Palestinian neighbors,” Netanyahu said. “Israel has proven time and again that it is ready for compromises in return for genuine peace.”
“With a Palestinian partner that is ready to conduct negotiations in good faith, Israel will be ready for a historic compromise that will end the conflict with the Palestinians once and for all,” Netanyahu added.
Still, key positions in his new government are held by strong backers of Israeli settlement in the West Bank, an issue that has stymied efforts to restart peace negotiations. The Palestinians have refused to resume talks unless Israel suspends building in the settlements, while Netanyahu has urged a resumption of talks without preconditions.
Israel's new defense minister, Moshe Yaalon, has backed building the settlements and retroactive authorization of some settlement outposts built without government permission.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- 200 feared dead in latest migrant disaster off Libya’s coast
- Tropical Storm Erika kills 4 in Dominica
- Corpses in truck on Austrian road thought to be smuggled refugees
- 11 officials, executives detained in China port blast
- Polish official ‘convinced’ Nazi mystery train exists
- U.K. plane crash halts vintage flights
- Hezbollah support deepens trash crisis in Lebanon
- Tropical storm Erika bears down on Caribbean
- Iraqi army loses 2 generals in suicide bombing
- Suicide bomber kills wife, 2 kids in Pakistan police raid