| September 28, 2011 Wednesday 29 Elul 5771 7:15 IST |
| Photo by: Marc Israel Sellem || |
| ‘If Palestinians want to live |
in peace, it can be achieved'
| Netanyahu sits down with ‘Post’ for Rosh Hashana |
interview in which he discusses how Israel will not
wait until peace arrives to build country.
What follows are excerpts of the Prime Minister’s Rosh Hashana interview with
The Jerusalem Post.
September is now behind us; the tsunami didn’t come. Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas made his speech and filed his request for full UN membership to the Security Council. You gave your speech. Now what? Where do we go from here?
We should go into direct negotiations, that was always the idea. To have the parties negotiate directly with each other without preconditions. Israel has always wanted that, and I have announced that as our intention from day one. The Palestinians have avoided it. They have avoided it because they don’t want to recognize the nation state of the Jewish people, to give up the ghost on the refugees, and to give us the security conditions necessary to the defense of Israel.
These are the things I will insist on when the negotiations are resumed, and they are the right things to insist on if we are to have a realistic and enduring peace rather than a fictitious and ephemeral one.
Logistically how will this all play out in the coming days?
It is hard for me to tell you what the Palestinians will do. They have consistently been true to Abba Eban’s immortal phrase of never missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity. I hope they will prove Eban wrong.
If Abbas continues to refuse to negotiate, would you consider – at the Americans’ request – another settlement construction freeze? In an interview in the US you said you might think about it.
No, I said that I would consider the issue of settlements, at least that’s what I meant to say. That the issue of settlements is one of the issues that would be [discussed] in the negotiations. But what the Palestinians have done is cherry-pick one of the final core issues and put [it] up front as a pre-condition. I could do the same. I could do it with rehabilitating a refugee camp, I could do it with demanding recognition of the Jewish state.
So far I haven’t done that because I want to get into direct negotiations and not create obstructions to entering them.
The Palestinians, by coming back to the issue of the settlement freeze, indicate that they don’t really want to negotiate. And remember, in an unprecedented action, which wasn’t easy, I gave them nearly a year of a freeze on new construction in the settlements. It didn’t help any, did it? So it’s a pretext. I mean, they use it again and again, but I think a lot of people see it as a ruse to avoid direct negotiations. lire l'article en entier