During a meeting with Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter Thursday Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that any peace deal worked out between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs would be subject to a referendum. “We have a saying in Israel: Israel isn’t Switzerland,” Netanyahu said. “And what they mean by that is that your neighborhood is more tranquil and less challenging.”
Netanyahu continued: “Still, I don’t know of any Israeli that would like to exchange our country for somewhere else, but there are a few things that I think we can learn from you and one of them is the referendum. Not for every issue; not on every point of debate; but on one thing: that is, if we get to a peace agreement with the Palestinians, I’d like to bring it to a referendum. And I’d like to talk to you about your experiences with that, and many other things.”
Burkhalter thanked Netanyahu for the welcome and invited him to Switzerland to observe the referendum system. “…I can show you the referendum, how it works, because we have all the time referendum, and you can come any time, and you can choose the time,” he was quoted as saying.