Will the Real Benjamin Netanyahu Please Stand Up?

Daniel Levy in Foreign Policy:

ScreenHunter_02 Oct. 08 06.23 Netanyahu, the son of Benzion Netanyahu, is now in his second term of office and approaching a total of six years at Israel's helm, making him one of the country's longest-serving premiers. And, like him or hate him, he might go down in history as one of its most defining and consequential leaders.

But if there is a discernible legacy, what is it all about?

In his first campaign for the premiership in 1996, Netanyahu pledged to continue with the Oslo peace process, albeit with his own adjustments, despite having savaged the peace effort and its promoters, notably Yitzhak Rabin, in the preceding years. As prime minister from 1996 to 1999, Netanyahu concluded two agreements with the Palestinians as part of that Oslo framework — the Hebron Protocol and the Wye River Memorandum, both expanding the reach of the Palestinian self-governing authority in parts of the occupied territories — and famously shook then PLO leader Yasir Arafat's hand along the way. And only weeks into his second term in office in June 2009, Bibi allowed the magic words to publicly pass his lips for the first time in a dramatically staged speech at Bar-Ilan University: There could be a “Palestinian state,” he said, a two-state solution

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