Our fearless Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu is pushing for talks with Syria, ones in which there would be a mediator, and he would prefer to hold the talks in Paris than in Ankara. He said:
“I spoke with Sarkozy, who told me that the Syrian stance is a retreat to the 1967 lines…Sarkozy also mentioned the Turkish mediation that the Syrians propose, I responded to him saying we are interested in direct negotiations, and if we are talking about a mediator – I prefer you.”
Apparently Trade and Labor minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer was able to strengthen ties between Israel and Turkey during his recent visit to Ankara – ties which have become loosened over the course of the year, really since Operation Caste Lead.
Ankara expressed hopes of a talk between Bibi and the Turkish Prime Minister – though on topics which regard to a Palestinian state it is clear that Bibi would prefer to speak under the auspices of Sarkozy and it is clear why.
During a foreign affairs and defense meeting on Monday, on the subject of the threat from the North, Netanyahu told the committee that
“If in the past we considered Hezbollah as a sideline militia, today Hezbollah is the real Lebanese army…it has replaced the Lebanese army as a significant force; it is arming and organizing as a real army. The Lebanese government and Hezbollah are becoming interwoven in each other – and they will suffer the consequences of any violation against Israel.”
On the topic of the recent settlement freeze on construction in the West Bank, Bibi said that it was
“an attempt to advance negotiations and clarify who is really interested in talks…there must be coordination between the cabinet’s decision and the injunction…we are the ones who renewed it.”