Welcoming Netanyahu's Significant Step

Welcoming Netanyahu's Significant Step

Benjamin Netanyahu's long-awaited speech last night was always going to be a tough call and an exercise in judicious phraseology. Under enormous pressure to respond to Barack Obama's Cairo address of 4 June, when the US President told Israel to halt all settlement expansion and recognise a Palestinian state, Israel's Prime Minister faced a dilemma. Either he risked alienating the US by accepting the Obama vision of a Middle East peace, or he faced breaking up his fragile right-wing coalition, most of whose component parts are wedded to further growth of West Bank settlements.

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