Saudi Arabia
Prince Turki al-Faisal of Saudi Arabia. (photo credit:REUTERS)


Israel cannot sustain peace unless the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is resolved through the creation of a two-state solution, Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal said in an unusual 10-minutes pre-recorded interview that was aired in Tel Aviv on Thursday.

In the recording, he called for the revival of the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative in which Israel would withdraw to the 1967 lines and there would be an “agreed upon” solution for Palestinian refugees. The interview was shown at the Israel Conference for Peace sponsored by the Hebrew daily Haaretz. It looked at question of how to move the peace process forward.

The 2002 initiative, which put forward by Faisal’s uncle, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, offers Israel full acceptance by all the Arab states in the region.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has consistently rejected all attempts to negotiate based on the basis of the pre-1967 lines.

“If Mr. Netanyahu were more of a far sighted leader than he seems to be, he would say I am willing to negotiate on the basis of the Arab Peace initiative,” Faisal said as he added that he believes that it is the plan that could jump start a new peace process.

Faisal spoke just one week after US officials they did not believe a two-state solution could be achieved in the 14 months remaining of US President Barack Obama’s time in office. They added that they did not even imagine that talks could be resumed.

In the absence of a US initiative, the ball was now in Israel’s court to find a way to move the process forward, Faisal said.

“The US government is not going to push Israel to do that [accept the Arab Peace Initiative]. There is no one who can, other than the US, so it has to come from Israel and if Netanyahu,” Faisal said.

A push by Netanyahu for this plan would remove doubts and suspicions that the Arab world had about the Israeli leader, the Saudi prince said.

The relative peace that Israel enjoys now is not sustainable, he added.

“What better time than [now] for Israel to say let us have peace with our neighbors and come from a position of strength to the table,” Faisal said.

Looking at dangers to the region as a whole, former Saudi Ambassador to the US and the former head of intelligence for his country, had harsh words to say about ISIS, who he referred to as apostates.

“To consider that chopping someone’s head off, in the way that ISIS does, is in any way Islamic  is to go agains the whole grain of Islamic tradition and thought and theology and practice,” he said.

When ISIS does this is the same of Islam, he said, “it is robbing me and 1.5 billion Muslims of their faith.”

As reported by The Jerusalem Post