Wednesday, December 23, 2009

PM Netanyahu: Israel faces 3 main threats: Iran, Missiles and the 'Goldstone threat'

(JPOST).Netanyahu addressed the Knesset plenum today by detailing the majors threats facing Israel, which he said were "The Iranian [nuclear] threat, the missile threat and a threat I call the Goldstone threat, along with the mission of renewing and completing the peace process with the Palestinians."

Israel is working intensively on the Iranian nuclear issue - "We are dealing with this a whole lot. Not everything is evident and sanctions are an important and even necessary condition, time will tell if they are sufficient, to stop the Iranian nuclear program. I assess that the UN will made decisions on the matter in February," Netanyahu said.

"Goldstone is a codeword for an attempt to delegitimize Israel's right to self defense,The international battle against Israel began in UN Durban Conference I, and continued in the 2005 IJC advisory opinion against the security fence and in the Durban Conference 2, as well as the Goldstone Report [on war crimes committed during Operation Cast Lead]. This is a comprehensive attack, not on a specific Israeligovernment but on the state of Israel."

"Fighting against terrorists requires internal unity. We mustn't search for the cracks through which to weaken or attack the government at these times."

On the Palestinian issue, Netanyahu claimed that the principles set by the government represented a wide consensus:

"I set two basic principles that almost everyone in this house can agree to; a demand to recognize Israel as a Jewish state - meaning that the Palestinians must give up the demand for the return of Palestinian refugees, and a demand for real demilitarization of a Palestinian state,".

"Our problem is that every time we cede a territory it is immediately filled with Iranians or with their proxies. Our problem is not the Israel-Lebanon border but the Syria-Lebanon border. Our problem is not the Israel-Gaza border but the Egypt-Gaza border, because that is where the problem is. Almost all the weapons are manufactured outside southern Lebanon and the Gaza Strip, at least all the effective arms.

"That's why demilitarization is so important. We can't talk about a solution without setting these two demands as basic principles, which represent a wide consensus,".

On the current stall in peace negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, the prime minister claimed that the PA was intentionally ignoring Israeli gestures in order to portray Jerusalem badly and in order to try and divide the Israeli politicians and public.

"I did not promise a paradise in the West Bank, I promised economical prosperity. Hamas turned the Strip into hell upon earth, but the West Bank can become one of the leading economies in the world, in terms of financial growth. And we removed barriers and checkpoints for this purpose, to help the Palestinian economy. We also took what US Secretary of State [Hillary Clinton] called "unprecedented steps" in declaring a 10-month settlement construction freeze.

"But all we got [in return for these gestures and actions],was [the] Goldstone [report], [US pressure to stop all building projects in the Jerusalem neighborhood of] Gilo, all kinds of preconditions [for resuming peace talks] that were unprecedented and unjustified."

Netanyahu blamed the Palestinians, saying that their aim was to blame Israel for the stalled talks, "despite the facts … and to divide us."

"Our internal unity is important in order to successfully deal with the attacks on Israel's right to self-defense and in order to continue the peace process. When we fight against false accusations made against Israel we must fight together. We must do this together. The real options are either to ram thegovernment or to support it. This is no less than what I asked of the opposition only several months ago when I was chairman of the opposition," Netanyahu asserted.