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American State Dept. Spokesman: “Palestinians need not recognize the Jewish state”

Despite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s continued requests of the Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish state within the framework of negotiations for peace, the American State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki reportedly stated in an interview with the “Al-Quds” newspaper that the Palestinians need not heed Netanyahu’s request.

Mar 09, 2014, 02:08PM | Maya Yarowsky
Abu Mazen and Netanyahu.

Abu Mazen and Netanyahu. Photo Credit: Reuters/ Channel 2

The spokeswoman for the American State Department, Jen Psaki, stated in an interview last night (Saturday) with the “Al-Quds” newspaper that the Palestinians do not need to recognize Israel as Jewish state as part of the peace agreement if they do not wish to do so.

In her statements to the Palestinian daily newspaper, Psaki stated that, “There is no need for the Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. The American stance is clear in that it recognizes Israel as a Jewish state, but there is no need for the Palestinians to recognize it as such in a final agreement”.

Only yesterday the Chairman of the Palestinian Authority, Abu Mazen, stated that “there is not a chance” that he and the Palestinian nation will recognize Israel as a Jewish state. He continued to explain the statement by presenting historical examples, like the Israeli peace with Jordan and Egypt, which did not recognize Israel as a Jewish state, but still signed a peace agreement with the country. Psaki responded to those comments stating, “The relations between Israel and the Palestinians differ from Israel’s relations with the surrounding Arab nations”.

Psaki threw out this weekend’s reports in “Al-Quds” that the sides had already been presented with an initial copy of the framework agreement drafted by Secretary of State John Kerry.

Netanyahu during the interview.

Netanyahu during the interview. Photo Credit: Channel 2

“The Palestinians are not answering the difficult questions”

In an interview with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this weekend, he addressed the question of recognizing Israel as a Jewish state, claiming that the request of the Palestinians in entirely legitimate. “The central question at the end is of course ‘Are you willing to recognize that the state of Israel is the nation state of the Jewish nation?’. If you don’t have the brunt of the agreement, then why turn to the leftovers. Concentrate on the central and difficult questions that they need to provide an answer for, but they don’t provide an answer. If they do give an answer — its negative”.

“They say that they will not recognize a Jewish state in order to leave the right of return on the table”, added Netanyahu. “So then what are we even talking about here? That a Palestinian state will be established but it will continue its conflict against the state of Israel with more preferential borders? We are a lot of things, but we are definitely not fools”.

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