Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Netanyahu: Open to 'painful compromises' for peace

Benjamin NetanyahuImage via Wikipediahttp://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43150056/ns/world_news-mideast_n_africa

In an address to a joint meeting of Congress, Israel's prime minister pledged to make "painful compromises" for peace with the Palestinians, but said he would not agree to any deal that threatens Israel's security or its identity as a Jewish state.
Netanyahu, who received a rapturous reception from lawmakers on both sides of the political divide, said Israel wants and needs peace but repeated his flat rejection of a return to what he called the "indefensible" borders that existed before the 1967 Mideast war. He also restated Israel's refusal to entertain the return of millions of Palestinian refugees and their families to land in Israel. And, he maintained that Jerusalem, claimed by both sides as their capital, could not be divided.

"Israel will never give up its quest for peace," Netanyahu said, adding that he is "willing to make painful compromises to achieve this historic peace."
"Now this is not easy for me. It's not easy, because I recognize that in a genuine peace we will be required to give up parts of the ancestral Jewish homeland,'' he said, referring to the occupied West Bank.
Netanyahu tells Abbas: Ditch Hamas
In outlining his peace vision, Netanyahu said Israel would not negotiate with terrorists and urged Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to rip up a power-sharing agreement that his moderate Fatah faction has signed with the militant group Hamas — which does not recognize Israel's right to exist — and shelve efforts to win U.N. statehood status unilaterally.
"I say to President Abbas 'Tear up your pact with Hamas and sit down and negotiate, make peace with the Jewish state.'"
"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 said.
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