Netanyahu Pessimistic About Two-State Solution

YERUSHALAYIM -

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu consigned the two-state solution to theory, not practice, saying on Tuesday that he thought an Israeli withdrawal from Yehudah and Shomron unlikely if he were re-elected.

Although Netanyahu said he stood by his 2009 Bar-Ilan University speech endorsing the creation of a Palestinian state, he charged that the Palestinians had made it meaningless with their actions.

“I don’t think withdrawing [residents from Yehudah and Shomron] is practical at the moment,” Netanyahu said. “I don’t think it will happen.”

The remarks made to reporters on Tuesday were part of a wide-ranging interview in which he also addressed his administration’s domestic record.

The prime minister blamed his predecessor Ehud Olmert for the acute housing shortage. He said that under the previous administration, building stagnated in the central region, causing a surge in real estate prices.

Asked if he accepts any responsibility for the housing crisis, Netanyahu would only admit to a failure in public relations, his inability “to rally the public” and translate that support “into party mandates.”

After the interview aired, the Labor party lambasted Netanyahu for passing the buck.

“After 12 years as prime minister and Finance minister before, all Netanyahu can do is blame Olmert for his own failures on the housing issue. Soon he will blame [former prime minister] Golda Meir for the security situation and [former prime minister] Menachem Begin for the cost of living,” the Labor campaign said.