Netanyahu to Give Second ‘Bar-Ilan Speech’ University Confirms; Unveiling of New Policy Expected
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will make his eighth appearance at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, opening the center’s 20th anniversary international conference on Sunday, October 6, with an address on “The State of Israel’s Challenges,” host Bar-Ilan University said on Tuesday, confirming a report in Israeli daily Ma’ariv last month.
Subtitled “2020 Vision: Israel’s Perils and Prospects,” Ma’ariv said in August that Netanyahu’s speech would not be routine, and would cover issues that the prime minister “attaches great importance to, and the contents of it will have a significant impact on government policy regarding the Palestinian issue in the coming years.”
Netanyahu has delivered seven previous addresses at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, beginning with the center’s founding conference in May 1991 through his famous “two-state solution” address in June 2009. Now known as his “Bar-Ilan speech,” in 2009 Netanyahu “made “‹”‹a 180 degree turn from overwhelmingly opposing the establishment of a Palestinian state, to supporting the idea,” Ma’ariv said. In that speech, for the first time, Netanyahu endorsed the concept of a Palestinian state partly due to pressure from the Obama administration, while insisting the Palestinians must recognize the Jewish state and be totally demilitarized.
Last month, Ma’ariv said the speech may be used to float the idea that rather than seek a final settlement agreement with the Palestinian Authority, including a withdrawal from the regions of Judea and Samaria, claimed by the Palestinians, and the division of Jerusalem, policy should be directed towards reaching a “long-term interim agreement” with the PA.
Other speakers on the agenda to speak at the conference include Dr. Yuval Steinitz, Minister of Intelligence, Prof. Uzi Arad, Former National Security Advisor, Maj. Gen. (res.) Prof. Yitzhak Ben-Israel, Chairman of the Israel Space Agency, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, IDF Chief of Staff, Gilad Erdan, Minister of Communications and Home Front Protection, Maj. Gen. (res.) Giora Eiland, Former National Security Advisor, Maj. Gen. Yair Golan, OC IDF Northern Command, Zeev Elkin, Deputy Foreign Minister, Rabbi Shai Piron, Minister of Education, Maj. Gen. (res.) Uzi Dayan, Former National Security Advisor, Prof. Moshe Arens, Former Minister of Defense, Avi Dichter, Former Director of the Israeli Security Agency and Minister of Internal Security, and experts from the RAND Corporation, Georgetown University and the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies.