Briefing on the Resumption of Israel-Palestinian Peace Negotiations
Israelis Yearn for Peace
Posted: September 3, 2010
For decades, public opinion polls have demonstrated that the Israeli public yearns for peace with the Palestinians. At the same time, those same polls show that after years of terrorism and anti-Israel and anti-Semitic incitement, Israelis are skeptical about the Palestinian Authority's ability and commitment to reaching an agreement with Israel.
As Prime Minister Netanyahu noted at the White House:
"We left Lebanon, and we got terror. We left Gaza, and we got terror once again. We want to ensure that territory we'll concede will not be turned into a third Iranian-sponsored terror enclave armed at the heart of Israel -- and may I add, also aimed at every one of us sitting on this stage."
Prime Minister Netanyahu has extended his hand in peace to the Palestinians. In his June 2009 address at Bar-Illan University he expressed support for negotiations which would lead to an independent Palestinian state.
On September 1 at the White House, Netanhayu literally reached out to President Abbas, and said:
"…you are my partner in peace. And it is up to us, with the help of our friends, to conclude the agonizing conflict between our peoples and to afford them a new beginning. The Jewish people are not strangers in our ancestral homeland, the land of our forefathers. But we recognize that another people shares this land with us. I came here today to find an historic compromise that will enable both our peoples to live in peace and security and in dignity. I've been making the case for Israel all of my life. But I didn't come here today to make an argument. I came here today to make peace. I didn't come here today to play a blame game where even the winners lose. Everybody loses if there's no peace. I came here to achieve a peace that will bring a lasting benefit to us all."
President Abbas has stated his commitment to working out an agreement with Israel, and ensuring that an independent Palestinian state meets Israel's security requirements. As he said at the State Department:
"We will work on all the final status issues – Jerusalem, the settlements, the borders, security, water, and also releasing the detainees – in order to end the occupation that started 1967, the occupation of the Palestinian territories, and in order to create the state of Palestine that lives side by side with the state of Israel, in order to end the conflict and end the historic demands in the Middle East, and to bring peace and security for the two people and all the peoples of the region. Once again, we want to state our commitment to follow on all our engagement, including security and ending incitement."