Ministers Urge PM: Stand Firm in U.S.

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JERUSALEM, Israel - Israeli Knesset members (MKs) from every party in the government's coalition, outside of the Labor party, urged Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to resist U.S. President Barack Obama's pressure for the establishment of a Palestinian state at their May 18 meeting at the White House.

Obama has joined the chorus of voices worldwide calling for the formation of a Palestinian state, linking it to diplomatic progress in the Iranian nuclear arms race.

"The press has been spreading the message that the good of the nation requires two states for two peoples, and people have been accepting it, even inside the Likud," MK Danny Danon said.

"There were elections, which gave a mandate to the nationalist camp and not to a Palestinian state," he said.

"When the prime minister leaves for Washington and the pressure rises on him to accept two states, we must offer an alternative solution," Danon said.

On May 26, Knesset members, including Strategic Affairs Minister and Vice Premier Moshe Ya'alon, and prominent Israeli figures will meet to develop diplomatic alternatives to the two-state solution. 

The purpose of the meeting is not to oppose Netanyahu, but rather to strengthen him.

"It wasn't [to make] a political statement that I came," said Daphne Netanyahu, the prime minister's sister-in-law.

"I am not a Likud member, and I didn't come as Netanyahu's sister-in-law, but only as a listener," she said.

"I am against a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria (known as the West Bank), but my ideas are not more important than anyone else's," she said.

Former defense minister Moshe Arens pointed out that the prime minister should discuss the need to defeat terrorism rather than the formation of a Palestinian state. Arens also stressed the importance of supporting the Netanyahu administration.

"We have to support this government. If it falls, whatever government would follow it would be much worse," he said. "We can't shoot ourselves in the foot," Arens said.

Source: The Jerusalem Post

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