Netanyahu Sidesteps Issue Of Settlements Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is heading home Thursday after what is being heralded as a successful meeting with President Obama. The two discussed a number of issues, including the easing of the blockade on Gaza. But Netanyahu skirted the issue of settlements -- one of the most contentious issues on the table.
NPR logo

Netanyahu Sidesteps Issue Of Settlements

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/128377904/128376942" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Netanyahu Sidesteps Issue Of Settlements

Netanyahu Sidesteps Issue Of Settlements

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/128377904/128376942" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:

We're going to follow up, now, on the meeting between President Obama and Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. There's been some friction between the two countries that are longtime allies. The atmosphere seemed much better, though, on this visit to Washington, by the prime minister. Still, Netanyahu skirted the issue of settlements, one of the most contentious issues on the table. Sheera Frenkel reports from Jerusalem.

SHEERA FRENKEL: At the top of their agenda is the contentious settlement issue. Itamar Ben-Gvir is a hard-line right-wing settler leader. He says the settlement issue is a veritable landmine for Netanyahu, one that could end his government.

MONTAGNE: The minute time will come - the real time will come, Netanyahu will fall. What Netanyahu is offering is a lot more than what he could give. A lot more than the consesus in Israel is ready to give.

FRENKEL: Aryeh Eldad is a Knesset member with the right-wing National Union Party and lives in a settlement. He described an emergency session that took place in the parliament before Netanyahu departed for Washington.

MONTAGNE: We met at the Knesset, the heads of all the coalition factions, and we deliver to Netanyahu, the message that if he will elongate the freeze on building he will have no government.

FRENKEL: Still, many of Netanyahu's supporters say that they believe the prime minister will toe the right-wing line. Kineret Schlessinger is a 16-year-old student from the settlement of Kedumim. She came out to the protest last week because she says she wants to strengthen Netanyahu.

MONTAGNE: (Through translator) I do believe in him, but I'm afraid he won't be able to withstand the pressure. I'm here because I want to believe he'll do the right thing, he'll support us.

FRENKEL: For NPR News, I'm Sheera Frenkel in Jerusalem.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: This is NPR News.

Copyright © 2010 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.