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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Israel's policies based on the Prime Minister's speeches

Here's what I understand to be Israel's foreign ministry's latest take on our current policies based on Prime Minister Netanyahu's latest speeches. I do not necessarily support everything stated here, so please don't shoot the messenger.
Israel Policy Update

PM Netanyahu's 7 Points for Peace:

1. Mutual recognition of the Jewish state and the Palestinian state is necessary for peace.

“President Abbas must do what I have done. I stood before my people, and I told you it wasn’t easy for me, and I said… "I will accept a Palestinian state." It is time for President Abbas to stand before his people and say… "I will accept a Jewish state." Those six words will change history. They will make clear to the Palestinians that this conflict must come to an end. That they are not building a state to continue the conflict with Israel, but to end it. They will convince the people of Israel that they have a true partner for peace. With such a partner, the people of Israel will be prepared to make a far reaching compromise. I will be prepared to make a far reaching compromise.” [Netanyahu’s Speech to Congress, 24 May 2011]

“You see, our conflict has never been about the establishment of a Palestinian state. It has always been about the existence of the Jewish state. This is what this conflict is about… In recent years, the Palestinians twice refused generous offers by Israeli Prime Ministers, to establish a Palestinian state on virtually all the territory won by Israel in the Six Day War.” [Netanyahu’s Speech to Congress, 24 May 2011]

“So I say to President Abbas: Tear up your pact with Hamas! Sit down and negotiate! Make peace with the Jewish state! And if you do, I promise you this. Israel will not be the last country to welcome a Palestinian state as a new member of the United Nations. It will be the first to do so.” [Netanyahu’s Speech to Congress, 24 May 2011]

2. Israel recognizes that a Palestinian state should be independent and viable.

“We recognize that a Palestinian state must be big enough to be viable, independent and prosperous.” [Netanyahu’s Speech to Congress, 24 May 2011]

“We will be very generous on the size of a future Palestinian state.” [Netanyahu’s Speech to Congress, 24 May 2011]

3. The Palestinian state should be fully demilitarized and there should be an Israeli military presence along the Jordan River.

“But Israel on the 1967 lines would be only nine miles wide. So much for strategic depth. So it is therefore absolutely vital for Israel’s security that a Palestinian state be fully demilitarized. And it is vital that Israel maintain a long-term military presence along the Jordan River. Solid security arrangements on the ground are necessary not only to protect the peace, they are necessary to protect Israel in case the peace unravels. For in our unstable region, no one can guarantee that our peace partners today will be there tomorrow.” [Netanyahu’s Speech to Congress, 24 May 2011]

4. The settlement blocs and areas of critical strategic and national importance will remain a part of Israel.

“This compromise must reflect the dramatic demographic changes that have occurred since 1967. The vast majority of the 650,000 Israelis who live beyond the 1967 lines, reside in neighborhoods and suburbs of Jerusalem and Greater Tel Aviv.” [Netanyahu’s Speech to Congress, 24 May 2011]

“These areas [settlement blocs] are densely populated but geographically quite small. Under any realistic peace agreement, these areas, as well as other places of critical strategic and national importance, will be incorporated into the final borders of Israel.” [Netanyahu’s Speech to Congress, 24 May 2011]

5. In any peace agreement, some settlements will end up outside Israel's borders.

“The status of the settlements will be decided only in negotiations. But we must also be honest. So I am saying today something that should be said publicly by anyone serious about peace. In any peace agreement that ends the conflict, some settlements will end up beyond Israel’s borders. The precise delineation of those borders must be negotiated.” [Netanyahu’s Speech to Congress, 24 May 2011]

“This is not easy for me. I recognize that in a genuine peace, we will be required to give up parts of the Jewish homeland.” [Netanyahu’s Speech to Congress, 24 May 2011]

“I am willing to make painful compromises to achieve this historic peace. As the leader of Israel, it is my responsibility to lead my people to peace.” [Netanyahu’s Speech to Congress, 24 May 2011]

6. The solution to the Palestinian refugees will be found outside Israel.

“President Obama rightly referred to Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people, just as he referred to the future Palestinian state as the homeland of the Palestinian people. Jews from around the world have a right to immigrate to the Jewish state. Palestinians from around the world should have a right to immigrate, if they so choose, to a Palestinian state. This means that the Palestinian refugee problem will be resolved outside the borders of Israel.” [Netanyahu’s Speech to Congress, 24 May 2011]

7. Jerusalem will remain Israel's united sovereign capital.

“As for Jerusalem, only a democratic Israel has protected freedom of worship for all faiths in the city. Jerusalem must never again be divided. Jerusalem must remain the united capital of Israel. I know that this is a difficult issue for Palestinians. But I believe with creativity and goodwill a solution can be found.” [Netanyahu’s Speech to Congress, 24 May 2011]

“Israel is the cradle of our common civilization. It's the crucible of our common values. And the modern state of Israel was founded precisely on these eternal values. And this is why Israel's more than 1 million Muslims enjoy full democratic rights. This is why the only place in the Middle East where Christians are completely free to practice their faith is the democratic State of Israel. And this is why Israel, and only Israel, can be trusted to ensure the freedom for all faiths in our eternal capital, the united city of Jerusalem.” [Netanyahu Address to AIPAC, 23 May 2011]

Unilateral Declaration of a Palestinian State:

Palestinian attempts to impose a settlement in the UN will not bring peace.

“Peace can be achieved only around the negotiating table. The Palestinian attempt to impose a settlement through the United Nations will not bring peace. It should be forcefully opposed by all those who want to see this conflict end.” [Netanyahu’s Speech to Congress, 24 May 2011]

Palestinian Unity Pact:

Hamas is not a partner to peace and Israel calls on the Palestinian Authority to reject its accord with this terrorist organization.

“Peace cannot be imposed. It must be negotiated. But it can only be negotiated with partners committed to peace. And Hamas is not a partner for peace. Hamas remains committed to Israel's destruction and to terrorism. They have a charter. That charter not only calls for the obliteration of Israel, but says ‘kill the Jews wherever you find them’.” [Netanyahu’s Speech to Congress, 24 May 2011]

“Those who wish to obliterate us are no partners for peace. A Palestinian government with half its members declaring daily that they plan to annihilate the Jewish state is not a partner for peace. Those who say - and I am familiar with the saying - that "peace is made with enemies" must add a small but important qualifier: peace is made with an enemy, but with an enemy who has decided to make peace.” [Netanyahu Address to the Knesset, 16 May 2011]


Palestinian incitement is an impediment to peace.

“They [the Palestinians] were simply unwilling to end the conflict. And I regret to say this: They continue to educate their children to hate. They continue to name public squares after terrorists. And worst of all, they continue to perpetuate the fantasy that Israel will one day be flooded by the descendants of Palestinian refugees.” [Netanyahu’s Speech to Congress, 24 May 2011]


The greatest danger facing humanity is a militant Islamic regime armed with nuclear weapons.

“When I last stood here, I spoke of the dire consequences of Iran developing nuclear weapons. Now time is running out, and the hinge of history may soon turn. For the greatest danger facing humanity could soon be upon us: A militant Islamic regime armed with nuclear weapons.” [Netanyahu’s Speech to Congress, 24 May 2011]

“A nuclear-armed Iran would ignite a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. It would give terrorists a nuclear umbrella. It would make the nightmare of nuclear terrorism a clear and present danger throughout the world.” [Netanyahu’s Speech to Congress, 24 May 2011]

“The more Iran believes that all options are on the table, the less the chance of confrontation. This is why I ask you to continue to send an unequivocal message: That America will never permit Iran to develop nuclear weapons.” [Netanyahu’s Speech to Congress, 24 May 2011]

“As for Israel, if history has taught the Jewish people anything, it is that we must take calls for our destruction seriously. We are a nation that rose from the ashes of the Holocaust. When we say never again, we mean never again. Israel always reserves the right to defend itself.” [Netanyahu’s Speech to Congress, 24 May 2011]

US-Israel Relations:

Israel and the US stand together to defend democracy, advance peace and fight terrorism.

“Israel has no better friend than America. And America has no better friend than Israel. We stand together to defend democracy. We stand together to advance peace. We stand together to fight terrorism.” [Netanyahu’s Speech to Congress, 24 May 2011]

“In an unstable Middle East, Israel is the one anchor of stability. In a region of shifting alliances, Israel is America’s unwavering ally. Israel has always been pro-American. Israel will always be pro-American.” [Netanyahu’s Speech to Congress, 24 May 2011]

“You understand that Israel and America stand shoulder to shoulder fighting common enemies, protecting common interests.… Israel and America have drawn from these deep well springs of our common values. We forged an enduring friendship not merely between our governments, but between our peoples. Support for Israel doesn't divide America. It unites America. It unites the old and the young, liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans….” [Netanyahu Address to AIPAC, 23 May 2011]

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