Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is not setting recognition of Israel as a state for the Jewish people as a condition for restarting peace talks with the Palestinians, his office said on Monday. "The prime minister has never made the recognition of Israel as a state of the Jewish people a precondition to peace negotiations and dialogue with the Palestinians," said a statement from Netanyahu's office, cited by AFP.
But "the recognition of Israel as a Jewish country is a matter of principle largely accepted in Israel and the world, without which it is impossible to make progress in the peace process and reach a peace agreement."
Last week, the new prime premier told visiting US envoy George Mitchell that Israel expected the Palestinians to recognise Israel as the state of the Jewish people. The Palestinian Authority has rejected such a demand in the past, saying it only recognises Israel within the borders before the 1967 war.