When Will the Palestinians Accept Us as We Accept Them?

(Prime Minister's Office) Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu - Prime Minister Netanyahu told the 2013 Israeli Presidential Conference on Thursday: From Morocco to Pakistan there is an earthquake. There's a struggle in this vast region between medievalism and modernity. I'm convinced that the forces of modernity, freedom, information, education will ultimately win out. But ultimately is not good enough for the Jewish people. Ultimately the forces of light overcame the forces of darkness in the last century, but our people paid a terrible price. That will not happen again. The greatest threat that we face is that the most dangerous weapons in the world fall into the hands of the most dangerous regimes in the world. We cannot allow Iran to achieve nuclear weapons. The Iranian regime has to abide by the international demands, stop all enrichment at all levels, remove the nuclear material that's already been enriched, and shut down the illicit nuclear facilities. In addition to security, in addition to prosperity, we want to achieve peace. The only way to achieve peace is to begin the negotiations for peace. We're ready to begin negotiations with the Palestinians now, without preconditions. There's no reason on earth we shouldn't negotiate. And we give Secretary Kerry all the support for his important effort. But the reason there is no peace has to be addressed. Why have successive governments, six prime ministers since Oslo - and before Oslo - not been able to achieve peace with the Palestinians? Why has this conflict rage from 1920, when the first Palestinian Arab attacks on the Jewish immigration office in Jaffa began? It was the fervent opposition to a Jewish state in any boundary. If we're going to have peace, we're going to have Palestinian leadership that says: "We are willing to make peace with the Jewish state. We will accept the right of the Jewish people to have a nation state." That was and remains the underlying problem that makes peace elusive. Ultimately it is the willingness of the Palestinians to accept a Jewish state, to accept the right of the Jews to live in their ancient homeland as a sovereign people, that will determine the success of our efforts. The heart of the matter is the willingness of our neighbors to accept us as we accept them.

2013-06-21 00:00:00

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