Words few people thought they would ever read; "Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced he will back a Palestinian state".
Please though, don't get excited. There's a catch. There are the following pre-conditions;
- It must be completely de-militarised.
- It can have no army, no control of its air space and no way of 'smuggling' weapons.
- Palestinian leaders are to restart Middle East peace negotiations without preconditions.
- Jerusalem must remain the unified capital of Israel.
- Palestinian refugees will not be allowed into Israel.
- The Palestinians recognise Israel as a state of the Jewish people.
Mr Netanyahu said of the two nations, territories, entities, whatever. “Each will have its flag, each will have its anthem. The Palestinian territory will be without arms, will not control airspace, will not be able to have arms enter.”
Obama has said this is a big step forward, I'm slightly less impressed. A country with no sovereignty, no way of defending itself against a murderous neighbour, no control of its borders, that is under 'security safeguards' that may well include actual IDF soldiers in the territory is not actually a state, even if it gets called that. Even if it has a flag and a theme tune.
Israel knows that this would be unacceptable to anyone on Earth and is effectively just a way of appearing to be making concessions without moving an inch.
"The peace process has been moving at the speed of a tortoise," negotiator Saeb Erekat said. "Tonight, Netanyahu has flipped it over on its back."Quite.