Just Say Yes to a Jewish State

(Prime Minister's Office) Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu - Prime Minister Netanyahu told the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations in a conference call on Monday: "A few weeks ago, we began direct negotiations on the final status issues. Now I'm eager to continue them, and eager to complete them. We've been calling for direct negotiations for 18 months. We have asked that these negotiations be conducted without preconditions.... There was an understanding that we don't turn our disagreements into preconditions for talks. Because if we do, we'll never get anywhere." "It's time for the Palestinians to do something they have refused to do for 62 years. It's time for them to say yes to a Jewish state....I recognized the Palestinians' right to self-determination and sovereignty. They must finally recognize the Jewish people's right to self-determination and sovereignty." "Why is this recognition important? It's important because the Palestinian leadership must begin to make clear to its own people that they are making a permanent peace with the Jewish people, a people that has a right to be here, a right to live in its own state and in its own homeland." "A peace agreement by itself does not preserve the peace. We need to understand that the only peace that will hold in the Middle East is a peace that can be defended. I have made clear that in order to defend the peace we need a long-term Israeli presence on the eastern side of a Palestinian state - that is, in the Jordan Valley. I have also said that while I respect the Palestinians' desire for sovereignty, I am convinced that we can reconcile that desire with our need for security." "I don't believe that, under these circumstances, international troops will do the job....You can see what happened to the international forces that were placed, for example, in Gaza before Hamas took it over. There were European forces; they were called EU BAM, and when Hamas took over Gaza, and the fighting started, these forces simply disappeared. They evaporated very quickly." "The only force that will be prepared to sustain a long-term commitment is a force that is absolutely convinced that it is defending its own people from attack. And if we have learned anything from history, it's that the only force that can be relied on to defend the Jewish people is the Israel Defense Forces."

2010-09-21 09:00:16

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