Friday, November 04, 2011

The stronger Israel is, the closer peace will be: strength, responsibility and unity

Excerpts from PM Netanyahu's Speech at Opening of the Knesset's Winter Session, 31 Oct 2011 (follow the link to the full translation text):

The Knesset is returning to its winter session at a time when the most dramatic events of our time are taking place in our region. ...old regimes have toppled, others are swaying and new ones are rising.

No-one can guarantee how good or how stable these new regimes will be, nor their attitude towards Israel. 

...These new regimes depend on the masses, the raging masses, of which many of the people have been systematically poisoned with anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist propaganda. This incitement began even before the State of Israel was established, and continues at full steam today.

...To cope with the instability and the uncertainty we are faced with, we need two things: strength and responsibility. 

...We operate and will continue to operate intensely and determinately against those who threaten the security of the State of Israel and its citizens.

Our policy is guided by two main principles: the first is "if someone comes to kill you, rise up and kill him first," and the second is "if anyone harms us, his blood is on his own hands."

For two thousand years our people could not realize these two basic principles of self defense.  The Jewish people paid the ultimate price in the history of the world due to this inability.

This changed when the State of Israel was established, and the Israel Defense Forces was founded.  The governments of Israel acted on these principles: they fought those who threatened us and attacked those who harmed us.

...Fostering the strength and responsibility required to fortify Israel's security is also paramount in our quest for peace. 

In the Middle East, peace is made with the strong, not with the weak.  The stronger Israel is, the closer peace will be.

The people in Israel are united in their desire for peace.  Yet we seek real peace; peace that is anchored in the right of the Jewish people to a nation-state in its homeland; peace that is based on security.

We are willing to compromise, but not to discard our security.  Even before the earthquake shook our region, I stood firm on Israel's security interests, and today more than ever.

I assure you that in the negotiations for peace, we will continue to insist on our national interests, first and foremost, security. Last weekend it was said that I am a tough bargainer.  I know that was said as criticism, but I take it as a compliment.

...I am willing to make real peace with our neighbors, but I am not willing to risk our security and future. Any peace deal must be accompanied by firm security agreements on the ground; otherwise it just will not last.

For the negotiations to end, they first need to be started.  I have called upon the Palestinian leadership time and time again to enter direct negotiations without delay.    ...Instead of sitting at the negotiation table, they decided to join the Hamas and take unilateral steps at the United Nations.

...while we support the foundation of a Palestinian state as part of a peace agreement, the Palestinians are trying to reach a Palestinian state without a peace agreement.  That is the essence of our reality and anyone with eyes to see and a sense of decency knows it.
...Members of Knesset, I have spoken, and I must admit not always successfully, about strength and responsibility.

I also want to talk about something that links the two: unity

...The unity that brings us to work together for one soldier is a testament to the ability of our people to come together in times of trouble.  It is an expression of our strength, our responsibility, our mutual accountability.  I believe in the power of this unity in times of trouble in the Knesset too.  I believe that in spite of all the disagreements, at the moment of truth we will rise above them and work together for the important and common goals.  These are the things that guide us: strength, responsibility and unity.  We have one country, together we can protect it.

Thank you.
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