May 29th, 2011
01:59 PM ET

Fareed's Take: Netanyahu doesn't want a deal

We've just gone through an arcane debate about whether Barack Obama said anything new when he called for an Israeli-Palestinian settlement based on 1967 borders with mutually agreed upon land swaps. In fact, that has been the working assumption of all negotiating parties - America, Israel and the Palestinian Authority - for over 20 years. It is what the Camp David talks of 2000 were based on; it's what former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's talks with the Palestinians was based on.

The newsworthy and real shift in U.S. policy was President Obama publicly condemning the Palestinian strategy to seek recognition as a state from the U.N. General Assembly in September.

Instead of thanking Obama for this, Prime Minister Netanyahu chose to stage, in the words of the former Israeli diplomat Alon Pinkas, "Nothing less than a bizarre tirade at the White House on Friday, educating the president about the plight and the pogroms of Jews throughout history."

So why did Netanyahu do this? Does it help Israel's security or strengthen it otherwise to stoke tensions with its strongest ally and largest benefactor, Washington? Does such behavior further the resolution of Israel's problems?

No, but it helps Netanyahu stir up support at home and maintain his fragile coalition.

The real revelation, which has been picked up by many in the Israeli press, is that it shows finally that Netanyahu simply doesn't want a deal. He always has a new objection, a new problem, a new delaying tactic because, at core, he has never believed that the Palestinians should have a state.

Here is the young Bibi, 33 years ago, at a forum in Cambridge, Massachusetts:

"I think the United States should oppose the creation of a Palestinian state for several reasons, the first one being that it is unjust to demand the creation of a 22nd Arab state and a second Palestinian state at the expense of the only Jewish state. There is no right to establish the second one on my doorstep, which will threaten my existence. There is no right whatsoever."

Prime Minister Netanyahu's references to the indefensible borders of 1967 last week also reveal him to be mired in a world that has really gone away. The chief threat to Israel today is not from a Palestinian army. Israel has the region's strongest economy and military by far, complete with an arsenal of nuclear weapons.

The chief threats to Israel are from new technologies - rockets and biological weapons - and from demography. Its physical existence is less in doubt than its democratic existence as it continues to rule millions of Palestinians who are entitled to neither a vote nor a country.

Ironically, the young Bibi understood that it was impossible to keep the Palestinians in such serf-like conditions forever. Listen to him advocating that Palestinians should be given citizenship, either in Jordan or in Israel:

"In the event that this negotiation process will continue, I am sure that what we're talking about is, in fact, eventual citizenship of some kind, either Jordanian or Israeli or in any other arrangement."

If the Palestinians were smart, they'd take Prime Minister Netanyahu up on that offer of citizenship in Israel, and then Bibi would wish he had been for a two-state solution all along.

soundoff (1,396 Responses)
  1. Bob

    Lets not forget about Zacharia wanting a mosque near the towers

    May 29, 2011 at 11:38 pm |
    • reACTIONary

      Oh yes, lets NOT forget that. That unconstitutional "freedom of religion" crap. Who does he think he is, an American?

      May 29, 2011 at 11:48 pm |
    • LG

      Hey do you any of you supporting either the Palestinians or the Israelis have a plan for how to solve this conflict? I didn't think so, same old he said she said with you people. The more important question is why Americans should care anymore... We have tried to help you both, but it seems as though neither of you want help. Why don't we just stop sending you both money and let you squabble until the cows come home. THE END!

      May 29, 2011 at 11:49 pm |
    • LG

      Hey do you any of you supporting either the Palestinians or the Israelis have a plan for how to solve this conflict? I didn't think so, same old he said she said with you people. The more important question is why Americans should care anymore... We have tried to help you both, but it seems as though neither of you want help. Why don't we just stop sending you both money and let you squabble until the cows come home. THE END!

      Please somebody on here respond.

      May 29, 2011 at 11:51 pm |
  2. Insight

    Republican congress sung hallelujah for Natanayahu not to support him but to defeat Obama. Natanayahu knows this congress knows this. It is called crooked politics

    May 29, 2011 at 11:39 pm |
  3. Dave

    I'd like to see how many of israel civilians have been killed over last 20 years due to Islamic terriorism and how many Palestinians have been killed by Israel. I'd bet you see a very lop sided result. Israel doesn't want peace, and lose all that US aid....... They may have had a good argument 20-30 years ago. Now they are just bullies..

    May 29, 2011 at 11:42 pm |
    • the patriot

      Exactly Dave! Six Palestinian civilians die for every Israeli. Check it out here.

      May 29, 2011 at 11:48 pm |
    • Fred

      Totally right!

      May 29, 2011 at 11:49 pm |
    • Steven A.

      Just curious ... how many Iraqis did Americans kill? And how many Americans did Iraqis kill? I guess that makes America the bully, since Iraq never lifted a finger against the U.S.

      (Hint: It's more than 100,000.)

      May 30, 2011 at 12:10 am |
  4. Bob

    What is happening on the ground is the desire for Islam to rule the middl east completely, unlike other religions they have not had a reform movement and they would like us call to convert I don't care how western some my act

    May 29, 2011 at 11:49 pm |
    • the patriot

      I might finally agree w/ you on something Bob. Yes, Islam has not had it's "reform" movement yet. Hopefully the democratic protests in Arab nations stay that way and we can get some fresh, democratic and secular thinkers in power.

      May 29, 2011 at 11:54 pm |
  5. Bob

    Dave, you can say how many terrorist were killed and those hidding with them, versus Israelis killed at random

    May 29, 2011 at 11:51 pm |
    • the patriot

      The civilian deaths on both sides, as reported by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, tells the story. For every Israeli civilian that dies, 6 Palestinians civilians die.

      May 29, 2011 at 11:56 pm |
    • the patriot

      It doesn't help when the IDF decides to drop a 500lb bomb in a densely populated neighborhood to get ONE GUY!

      May 29, 2011 at 11:58 pm |
    • Dave

      Killed at random? You have not done your home work. The Jewish settelers were the first ones who bombed civilians, assasinated public leaders Palestinian and British. Hell they even killed american service men, "USN Liberity". I think their whole nation suffers from PTSD.

      May 30, 2011 at 12:04 am |
  6. Fred

    Thank God there is some israelis like Avraham Burg :
    Of course he's hated by the same people who hated Jesus.

    May 29, 2011 at 11:52 pm |
  7. Daniel

    Netanyahu is a monster.

    May 29, 2011 at 11:55 pm |
  8. Junior

    Thank you Zakaria for stating the obvious. The truth of the matter is that Conservatives and Zionists of Israel want Jericho and all the biblical lands of Israel back in Israeli hands meaning no West bank for the Palestinians. The truth of the matter is that Zionists will not be satisfied until the west bank is completely in the hands of Israel and leaving the only the gaza strip to the Palestinians .

    May 29, 2011 at 11:57 pm |
    • the patriot

      Exactly Junior; and they're willing to commit ethnic cleansing to get it.

      May 30, 2011 at 12:00 am |
      • Peikovian

        Do you two prefer "Hillbillies" or "Sons of the Soil" as your sobriquet?

        June 2, 2011 at 3:08 am |
  9. misha

    Listen Zakaria, you are missinforming the public and stirring up antijewish sentiment.Stay OUT of US politics and go back to your underdeveloped country. Don't forget to take your PhD and stick it up where it fits the best, most likely your rear.Do damage to the place where you were born, not here because you contaminate public minds with lies serving your own destabilization agenda driven by your fascist believes, which until now were well hidden.Netannyahu wil get a deal in HIS terms which is in favor of all jewish and non jewish people. You are a disguised antisemite propagating antisemitic propaganda like it was done in the early years of Hitler. You won't get your momentum as you aspire for, but rather your a...kicked because you're evil and want Israel wiped out of the map. You said so, and everyone should know this.You're infiltrating in the US government, just as Hitler tried to get to power. You will crumble just as your marriage is...your face is showing that twisted lip rictus characteristic of wicked, selfserving fanatic.

    May 29, 2011 at 11:58 pm |
    • the patriot

      WHOA!!! Opposing the actions of the nation of Israel and antisemitism are two different things and not at all connected.

      May 30, 2011 at 12:02 am |
    • Barak YoMomma

      Obama already did an about face on the 67 borders. Obama's 67 policy was never supported by Congress or the voters.
      Obama already lost out. Even the Russians, especially the Russians, don't like Islamic Terrorism.

      May 30, 2011 at 12:03 am |
    • Steve

      To Misha,

      Only the truth can hurt.
      You're the one to leave US and join your disgusting ideology.
      I quote you "your face is showing that twisted lip rictus characteristic of wicked, selfserving fanatic".
      Please look at the face of your bibi and co

      May 30, 2011 at 12:05 am |
  10. LG

    Is anybody else tired of this? Why should American's care, we have our own problems. If you people (Israel and Palestine) don't want peace what the hell can we do for you. Stop clogging up our airwaves and wasting our money for this nonsense. Trust me, the same conversation will be rehashed next year, the year after that and on and on.....

    May 29, 2011 at 11:58 pm |
  11. Barak YoMomma

    CNN goes PLO. If Obama was a REAL CHRISTIAN he would support the Bible and the Biblical Borders. Everybody recognizes the Pal. State, we recognize them as terrorists and invaders of the Holy Land. so what is their claim "we stole the land a long time ago what give you the right to take it back"
    Obama already did an about face the next day on the 67 borders.
    Wake up and read the news

    May 29, 2011 at 11:59 pm |
    • the patriot

      That might be the stupidest post on this whole thread. The president cannot take religious sides.

      May 30, 2011 at 12:03 am |
      • the patriot

        Ok. The most reliable news story I found on this was from BBC.

        And even this only says "believed to be the work of Palestinian militants".

        May 30, 2011 at 12:10 am |
  12. Steven A.

    Just recently terrorists from the West Bank slit the throats of Jewish children while they slept. In another recent incident, a Palestinian shot up a busload of Jews going to pray. And as I mentioned before, the school bus incident. The only reason more children weren't killed is that the bus was nearly empty.

    Mr. Zakaria, perhaps you are trying be fair or even-handed. I don't know. But until you've looked into the face of someone willing to slit your child's throat in order to take yo;ur land, you really are unqualified to speak on this. Please shut up and stop making things worse. Obama was wrong, he had his shot and he blew it. Get off the bandwagon already.

    May 29, 2011 at 11:59 pm |
    • the patriot

      Steven A.... I'm calling b*llsh*t. The internet is a big place. And I find and post links to my stuff. Please go and find the story of the Jewish children getting their throats slit; post it here so we can all see it.

      May 30, 2011 at 12:05 am |
      • Steven A.

        Do your own homework. The story was in all the newspapers just a few weeks ago.

        May 30, 2011 at 12:13 am |
  13. Bob

    the "Arab Spring" will put in leaders that will make the previous ones look like moderates,

    May 30, 2011 at 12:00 am |
    • the patriot

      Only time will tell.

      May 30, 2011 at 12:09 am |
  14. AntiFareed

    Fareed – thanks for showing us once again what an anti-semite that you really are. There is no journalism here...

    May 30, 2011 at 12:04 am |
    • LG

      Hey pal, whats the solution? More rhetoric, what is your plan, I just want you people to shut up and stop talking about this shit. American's don't care anymore! It is like a never ending soap opera with you people. Quite obviously you don't care about the people (Israeli or Palestinian) or you would have solved this problem a long time ago.

      May 30, 2011 at 12:07 am |
    • the patriot

      Shut up! An anti-semite is against Jews. We're talking about the policies and practices of a nation; Israel. The two are mutually exclusive.

      May 30, 2011 at 12:11 am |
  15. Steve

    Wow! all this story reminds me why Jesus was betrayed by his people.
    We're supporting them, protecting them and the only thank you is to spit on our government.

    May 30, 2011 at 12:11 am |
  16. misha

    Agreed. Time for Israel to take their gloves off and finish them up....time to get started guys. Oh, and reference to antisemitism, dear learn history and politics. Read the the roots of holocaust you dumb head. Maybe it will dawn on you what is this whole issue about.

    May 30, 2011 at 12:14 am |
    • Hershel

      Great Misha! Thanks for the NAZZI talk!

      May 30, 2011 at 12:23 am |
    • Hershel

      And enough with your holocaust it was 70 years ago
      You're not the only one who suffered from it!

      May 30, 2011 at 12:25 am |
  17. Bob

    Steve I am glad you finally showed the true colors for the position on Israel,

    May 30, 2011 at 12:14 am |
  18. jay

    Zakaria, I think you are a hypocritical bigot, who in the name of journalism is promoting your hidden pro-Muslim bias. I am not a Jew but my full sympathies are with them. How terrible it is to be surrounded by a bunch of fanatic, barbaric cavemen, who think everyone else is not worth living!!!

    May 30, 2011 at 12:15 am |
  19. Bob

    Jay you are correct, he takes advantage of citizens who may not be informed about his cause and beliefs basically calling americans fools

    May 30, 2011 at 12:18 am |
  20. Peikovian

    Muslims 1.4 billion, Jews 14 million; Arabs 300 million, Israelis 6 million (non-Muslim); Arab League members 22, Israel 1, OPEC members 12 (8 Muslim), Israel has no oil. Paranoia that Jews are in control: rampant, likelihood that Big Oil is in control: of course it is. Conclusion: you are damaged, distracted, morally vacant people, and the gas hose has been broken off in your pipes.

    May 30, 2011 at 12:18 am |
  21. JusticeForAll

    Let us stick with the facts. 90% of all minorities in Islamic countries have been eliminated over the past century. The only country in the mostly Islamic middle east where the christian population has increased over the past 50 years is Israel.
    Israeli Arabs are the richest of all non-oil producing Islamic countries. Israel is the only Democracy in the middle east.
    In 1948 when the UN partitioned the land Jews accepted the Arab countries and the palastinians rejected it and went to war to kill ALL the jews and throw them in the sea. Both when Barak and Olmert gave Palastinians generous offers that palastinians rejected.

    Fareed is a good guy but seems to have a slight Muslim bias that scews with his mind. Fareed most of the Palastinians today say they want to destroy Israel. For them you do not have to go back 33 years ago. If to be fair you go back 33 years with the Palastinians then they wanted gas chambers for the Jews of Isarel. You need to be balanced buddy. Islam is the problem in the world today as comminism was in yesterday. Wake up smell the coffee.

    Despite the above Israel is the problem according to Fareed. He gives a 33 year old speech of Netenyahu as proof that. Netenyahu changed his position as he admiteed and has been clearly said in the past. Fareed is a great guy but seems to have an Islamic .

    May 30, 2011 at 12:19 am |
  22. Alazar

    I agree with Fareed. Israel is the agressor. Palistinians get killed every day my the masses by fascist Israelis but here we are trying to argue in deffense of a murderous, war mongering state. Israelis are and have always been an obstacle to any peace process. PM Netanyahu is a hard headed meniac just as Adolf Hitler was.

    May 30, 2011 at 12:22 am |
  23. Bob

    Alazar luckly there is still a portion of this planet that doesnt have your beliefs, otherwise I would not be alive

    May 30, 2011 at 12:24 am |
  24. misha

    To LG:it stirred your guts eh? Looks like we've pushed the right, WHY do you so offended I wonder, bigot. And the one who said zakaria is a bigot, Bravo. I'm not jewish either, but oh yes, my sympathy goes to them and against the muslim fanatics that cherish death, destruction and propagate hatred everywhere they go.Time to get rid of these fanatics for good...oops but Zakaria would loose his life purpose...and a job and a marriage...that's why he has to keep defending...

    May 30, 2011 at 12:27 am |
    • LG

      Dude you are not going to involve me in your stupid, stupid, childish arguments. Go do something about it and leave the USA alone, we don't want to be involved in your little kindergarten squabble. It is like a bunch of toddlers constantly going up to their teacher to say "she called me dumb," or "he said I was stupid." Get it, WE DON'T WANT TO BE INVOLVED!

      May 30, 2011 at 12:51 am |
  25. S Marko

    Its interesting to see that on such a liberal site (CNN), most of the posts support Israel.

    May 30, 2011 at 12:35 am |
    • Jeanne

      Yes, unfortunately
      They're to coward to go to live in Israel and fight with palestinians.
      It's much easier to spew venom behind the computer.
      We're enough stupid to support them and as a thank we got a finger.

      May 30, 2011 at 12:50 am |
  26. misha

    Yes 70 yrs ago. Its about to revive. EDUCATE YOURSELF. Nazi parties being founded in Egypt my friends,this is the muslim Spring all about...and a slotter will happen again if we are not careful. Its just this time, I hope, just hope, Israel will be able to put a swift end to this madness. Zakaria, hope you read this, so that you can start packing and hopefuly get whipped jointly w your compatriots...

    May 30, 2011 at 12:38 am |
  27. Brian

    Wonder what the future holds. If Israel wants to live in the middle east it will have to make some friends there instead of enemies. At this point Israel has one friend – in North America.

    May 30, 2011 at 12:40 am |
  28. j

    Visiting Israel on a fact fiding mission(what a Joke) Who kills more palestinians, Israelies or Palestinians? I have no idea if Fareed is a great guy or not. He is not a reporter he is a politico, with bias views and a soap box. Please fareed just continue doing fluff pieces they work better for you. BTW im a non jew, non christian and all around non religious. Oh and on that note why do we call Islam a religion and not a theocracy? please enlighten me MR. Fareed.

    May 30, 2011 at 12:44 am |
  29. misha

    Marko, bravo...very accurate description of Israel's situation.
    All...learn from it.

    May 30, 2011 at 12:45 am |
  30. misha

    Jay, you are correct.

    May 30, 2011 at 12:49 am |
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