The Palestinians must confront their “demons” over a Jewish state if they wish to achieve Palestinian statehood, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told visiting Italian President Sergio Mattarella in Jerusalem Wednesday.
“And I turned not only to Hamas, but to President Abbas, and I said, ‘Would you recognize a Jewish state, assuming we solve the settlement problem?’” Netanyahu said in his opening remarks with Mattarella, who met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas Tuesday.
“And they won’t, because the real settlement issue are the settlements of Tel Aviv, Jaffa, Haifa, Akko – the persistent refusal to recognize a Jewish state is at the boundary,” he said.
Netanyahu added that the conflict has never been about a Palestinian state, which he and previous Israeli leaders have been willing to help establish, but that, “It was and is about the Jewish state.”
“Unless and until our Palestinian neighbors face this, confront these demons, give up the ghost of trying to destroy the Jewish state by this or that means, peace will be harder to achieve. Denying our history is one of the means of denying the Jewish state.”