Netanyahu's Plan?

The assumption of the Israeli prime ministry by conservative Benjamin Netanyahu has many worried about the future of the two-state solution, but Netanyahu considers himself, above all, a pragmatist. At a meeting last year, then-candidate Barack Obama reportedly told him, “I started on the left and moved to the center. You started on the right and moved to the center. We are both pragmatists who like to get things done.” Netanyahu has made clear that he prefers to form a centrist governing coalition, but prospects are dim, as Kadima’s Tzipi Livni has said she is unlikely to join him, and Labor’s Ehud Barak has already led his party into the opposition. Netanyahu does not oppose negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, but wants to focus them on economic development in the West Bank instead of a comprehensive deal. He also says stopping Iran from developing nuclear weapons is a much bigger necessity than creating the Palestinian state.