Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Netanyahu: Building in settlements does not contradict our desire for peace

The Knesset held a special session Wednesday, marking the 15th anniversary of the assassination or Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

Taking the podium, Netanyahu said that he spent Tuesday reading the last speech Rabin made before the House, a mere month before his assassination. The text, he said, reflected Rabin's desire to see an end to the circle of violence, the inception of a Palestinian state, and a united Jerusalem.

"I think Rabin's words stress my distinction – that a settlement freeze is a gesture no other government has ever made, Building in existing settlements in Judea and Samaria does not contradict our desire for peace".

"Today, I have a better understanding of what Rabin meant. Today, we want a demilitarized (Palestinian) state, which recognizes the Jewish state. We do not want to negate the Palestinian's right to self-definition. We do not wish to rule them.

"What we want is for the Jewish state to be recognized and safe. Our demand for security is not a whim and not an excuse. We left Lebanon – and Iran has moved in. We left Gaza and there too, Iran is moving in. We cannot let that happen a third time."

This, he continues, "Can be prevented by real security arrangements, which we must insist on. I have no doubt that Rabin, as a military man, would has insisted on it as well. When it comes right down to it, there is no dispute over peace, no dispute over separation. The question is – what happens the morning after? How do we make sure that what happened twice, does not happen a third time?"

As for the mood of Israeli society, Netanyahu told the House that "Time has bridged some of gaps. This may aid in achieving peace, but this is not only up to Israel. One thing is sure, though – with or without unity, with or without a peace deal, the kind of violence that ended Rabin's life has no place among us."