By Simon Fischler
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu needs to make an address to his nation and to the international stage. Were I Bibi’s speech writer, this is the address I would pen:
“I have come here today to make Israel’s position with the Peace Process and achieving the two-state solution with the Palestinian Authority very clear.
What many of you in the international community, the United Nations and the international media forget is the fact that Israel has accepted Palestinian Statehood since 1948 and the UN partition of the British Mandate.
It was not Israel who rejected two states, but the Palestinian Leadership and the Arab world who rejected the will of the International community and international law when they rejected partition and attacked our Nation.
Decades later, my partner in our coalition government, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, offered Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian Leadership peace. He offered a deal that should have ended this conflict, should have created a Palestinian State and brought peace to both our peoples. But no, Arafat turned has back on the Palestinian Nation, American President Bill Clinton, Israel and Peace.
Not only did Yasser Arafat and those with him in the Palestinian Leadership reject peace, they began a guerilla war against Israeli civilians. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has admitted it was the worst mistake made by the Palestinian Leadership, EVER.
Interesting, is it not, that certain South American heads of state have already ‘recognized’ a Palestinian State on the supposed 1967 borders. However, they do not share a border with the Palestinians and are not being showered with Qassam rockets, so of course, they are ready to recognize a Palestinian State.
Now you have the Russians recognizing our Palestinian neighbors. I wonder what the Russians would say if half the world stood up tomorrow and said they recognized Chechnya as an independent entity from Russia. Grozny would go up in flames a mere moments later.
The Palestinian Leadership is proud of all of this and I will be the first to congratulate them on their hard work of wooing South American third world dictatorships, the Russian so-called democracy and Iran to their side.
I am also sure that more nations will jump on this band wagon.
None of this matters, however. At the end of the day, if the Palestinians want statehood, they must sit down with the government of Israel and negotiate a settlement. No other way will they ever attain what they claim they want.
Let me get back to my original point: Israel was the first country to recognize the Palestinian Arabs’ right to statehood, when we accepted UN partition. To deny this is to deny historical fact.
So I say again that Israel recognizes the Palestinian Nation’s right to statehood, self-determination and peace. We recognize that for the Palestinian nation to be achieved, we will have to relinquish large parts of historical, biblical Israel. To achieve justice for both the Jewish nation/state and Palestinian nation/state, we Israelis will have to make enormous compromises with the tiny amount of land we have.
We are ready to do that.
However, here is what no Israeli Prime Minister or government will ever recognize:
Israel will never take responsibility for a refugee situation created by the Palestinian leadership and Arab leaders who opted for war instead of recognition of the UN Partition Plan.
Israel will never take responsibility for the undeniable fact that Palestinians have been intentionally kept as refugees in numerous states, to perpetuate the conflict with our country.
The only BINDING law concerning refugees -- Security Council resolution 242 -- states clearly that there must be a “Just settlement of the refugee problem.” ‘Just’ means for BOTH Israel and the Palestinians. Israel will NEVER recognize the Palestinian Right of Return.
Israel will accept the fact that to attain peace, she must yield a large portion of Judea and Samaria. We have already left Gaza. On the other hand, Israel will never go back to the borders of 1948 and there is not one single international law that says we must.
Israel will not accept the constant failure of Palestinian leadership to do what Israeli leaders have done: push for peace, no matter the price.
We can no longer accept the violent rhetoric of the Arab Street: it is not our fault that double talk has always been the standard of the Palestinian Leadership and Arab leaders.
Finally, we hold the Palestinian and Arab leaders responsible for preparing their people for nationhood and to cease immediately their virulent anti-Israeli anti-semitic acts and words.
I am Benjamin Netanyahu, I am here to say I recognize the right of the Arab Palestinian Nation to Statehood.
Now lets sit down, face to face, with no preconditions and settle (no pun intended) this for the future of our children.”