Peace can only be achieved around the negotiating table.discuss…

Speech of Benjamin Netanyahu, 2011

Key Points

Start Watching at 46:00

46.00      We must find a way to forge a lasting peace with the Palestinians.

46:25     I am committed to 2 states for 2 peoples  [How does this conform to the Likud Charter?]

46:35     I’m willing to make painful compromises to achieve peace.

47:05     In a real peace, [Israel] will be forced to give up parts of the ancestral Jewish homeland [What does Netanyahu mean when he refers to giving up the “ancestral Jewish homeland”?]

47:15     In Judea and Samaria[West Bank], the Jewish people are not foreign occupiers.  We are not the British in India or the Belgians in the Congo.  This is the land of our forefathers, the land of Israel. [What does he mean by these areas as “the land of Israel”?  What is the case he is making here?]

48:05     No distortion of history can deny the 4000-year old bond between the Jewish people and the Jewish land [What does he mean here by “the Jewish land”?  What is the argument here?]

48:45     Palestinians need to be a free people living in their own state.

49:45     We have helped the Palestinians by removing hundreds of roadblocks and barriers to the free flow of goods. [What are these “roadblocks”?  How did they get there in the first place?]

51:00     Why has peace eluded us?  All 6 Israeli Prime Ministers agreed to establish a Palestinian state.  Why has peace not been achieved?

51:30     The reason [that peace has eluded us] is because the Palestinians have been unwilling to accept a Palestinian state if it meant accepting a Jewish state alongside it.

51:55     Our conflict has never been about a Palestinian state.  It has always been about existence of the Jewish state.  This is what the conflict is about.

52:15     In 1947 the UN wanted to partition Palestine into a Jewish state and an Arab state.  The Jews accepted; the Palestinians said no.  [What were the reasons that the Palestinians said no?]

52:45     The Palestinians were simply unwilling to accept a state on almost all of the territories captured by Israel in 1967.  They were unwilling to end the conflict.

53:10     They continue to perpetuate the fantasy that Israel will one day be flooded by Palestinian refugees.  This fantasy must end.  [What is the “fantasy” here that according to Netanyahu, must end?  What is Netanyahu suggesting here about the resolution of the Palestinian refugee problem?]

53:55     It’s time for President Abbas to say:  ‘I will accept a Jewish state.’

54:45     When President Abbas does this, we will have a true partner for peace and the Israeli people will be willing to make far-reaching compromises [Why is Abbas unlikely to ever recognize Israel as a “Jewish State”?].

55:20     This compromise we are about to make, however, must reflect the dramatic demographic changes that have occurred since 1967 [What does Netanyahu mean here by the “dramatic demographic changes”?  How does Netanyahu characterize these demographic changes?  What does International Law suggest about these demographic changes?  Why might Palestinians be unlikely to recognize these “demographic changes” as part of a future peace agreement?]

55:42     Jerusalem:  The vast majority of the 650,000 Israelis who live beyond the 1967 borders reside in neighborhoods of Greater Jerusalem.  These areas are densely populated but geographically quite small.

55:45     Settlements:  Under a realistic peace agreement, these areas [beyond Israel’s borders] as well as other areas of strategic importance will be incorporated into the final borders of Israel. [What does Netanyahu mean here by the statement that these areas will be incorporated into a “realistic peace agreement”?]



56:15     Borders:  The status of the settlements will only be decided by negotiations but we must be honest.  There will be some settlements beyond the borders of Israel.  We must negotiate this.  We will be generous on the issue of borders.  But the border will be different than what existed prior to the June war of 1967.  Israel will not return to the indefensible border of 1967.

57:35     We will be generous about the size the Palestinian state, but will be firm about where we put the border with it [What is Netanyahu suggesting about the 1967 border? What does Netanyahu also suggest about the power relations between the state of Israel and the Palestinians?  Who has the power in this “negotiation”?].

57:25     Refugees:  The Palestinian refugee problem will be solved outside the borders of Israel. [What does this mean? How does this comport with the spirt and language of UN Resolution 242?]

59:35     Jerusalem:  Jerusalem must never again be divided.  Jerusalem must remain the united capital of the state of Israel [Applause]

62:15     De-Militarized State / Jordan River:  Israel needs unique security arrangement because of its small size….It is vital that a Palestinian state be demilitarized and that Israel maintain a long-term presence along the Jordan River [Why is it virtually impossible that any Palestinian leader would agree to the  proposal of a long-term military presence of Israel along the Jordan River?]

64:30     Peace can only be achieved around the negotiating table.  A settlement imposed by the international community will not bring peace and should be forcefully opposed.  [Why does Netanyahu insist that peace must be negotiated? What can Palestinians negotiate with Israel with respect to the 4 points of Oslo?] 

65:15     Peace can only be negotiated with partners committed to peace. [What is Netanyahu suggesting about the Palestinians as a partner for peace?]