Netanyahu addresses Congress in historic speech

PM willing to give up parts of Israel but ‘Jerusalem must never be divided. Jerusalem must remain the united capital of Israel.’

Published: May 24th 2011
in News » World

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the United States Congress Tuesday in a much-anticipated speech following a turbulent visit to Washington.


While the PM spoke about various issues, the focus of his address was clearly on the Israeli-Palestinian peace plan, especially the security.


“We must find a way to forge a lasting peace with the Palestinian people,” said Netanyahu who lauded Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority (PA) as a viable partner in peace, but not under the current conditions of their pact with Hamas.


“Hamas is not a partner for peace. Hamas remains committed to Israel’s destruction,” Netanyahu stated. “Israel will not negotiate with a Palestinian government backed by the Palestinian version of al-Qaeda.”


Should the opportunity to negotiate peace with the PA arise, Netanyahu made it clear that “Israel will be generous with the size of the Palestinian state” but will not sacrifice security. “Israel will not return to the indefensible boundaries of 1967,” he said adamantly before adding,  that it needs “unique security arrangements because of its unique size.”


Netanyahu repeated what he told the AIPAC conference earlier in the day, that the State of Israel is not the root of the Middle East’s problem.


“Israel’s not what’s wrong with the Middle East. Israel is what’s right about the Middle East,” he said to a cheering audience.


Although the days leading up to this address were tumultuous, Netanyahu had only good words for President Obama and the United States.


"Israel has no better friend than America and America has no better friend than Israel,” he said while also thanking Obama for his great commitment to the security of Israel.


Netanyahu also touched on the historical inaccuracies being spread about the Jewish state.


"The Jewish people are not foreign occupiers. We're not the British in India, or the Belgians in the Congo. This is the land of our forefathers… no distortion of history will deny the 4,000 year-old bond between the Jewish people and the Jewish land."


Netanyahu did not waste this opportunity to take a jab  at the United Nations during this public address, saying that, should a peace agreement be reached “Israel will be the first country to welcome a Palestinian state as a member of the United Nation.”

Related articles: (Netanyahu, United States, Congress, Obama, Peace Plan, )

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