Monday, November 8, 2010

Netanyahu: I am willing to make mutual compromises for a genuine secured peace with the Palestinians

"Israel also wants a secure peace. We do not want to vacate more territory only to see Iran walk in and fire thousands of rockets at our cities. That is exactly what happened after we left Lebanon and Gaza. We don’t want to see rockets and missiles streaming into a Palestinian state and placed on the hills above Tel Aviv and the hills encircling Jerusalem. If Israel does not maintain a credible security presence in the Jordan Valley for the foreseeable future, this is exactly what will happen.

I will not let that happen.

We do not want security on paper. We want security on the ground. Real security. I am willing to make mutual compromises for a genuine peace with the Palestinians, but I will not gamble with the security of the Jewish state. Palestinian leaders who say they want to live peacefully alongside Israel should sit down and negotiate peace with Israel. They should stop placing preconditions and start negotiating peace. The Palestinians may think they can avoid negotiations. They may think that the world will dictate Palestinian demands to Israel. I firmly believe that will not happen because I am confident that friends of Israel, led by the United States, will not let that happen. There is only one path to peace – that is through a negotiated settlement.

We should spend the next year trying to reach an historic agreement for peace and not waste time arguing about marginal issues that will not affect the final peace map in any way. I am confident that if there is goodwill on the Palestinian side, a formula can be found that will enable peace talks to continue. I believe that if we succeed, and I always like to confound the skeptics, and I continue to do that systematically, I believe that peace would unleash tremendous economic opportunities for Israelis, Palestinians, and peoples throughout the region".