In a Likud faction meeting Thursday evening, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said that he greatly appreciates an
invitation extended - less than an hour before - to speak in front of a
joint session of the US Congress.
Netanyahu said that he
will speak to the US Congress about the Iranian threat and the need for a "secure peace"
between the Israeli and Palestinian peoples.
PM likely to unveil diplomatic initiative in DC in May
Key Quartet meeting put off by a month
US House Speaker John Boehner will invite Netanyahu to address a joint session
of the US Congress during a visit to Washington next month, Boehner's office announced on Thursday.
prime minister praised his party's achievements in the area of security
and said, "there are those who talk and those who act - they speak and we act ." In a defiant tone, he added, "this is our land and it always will
"Before our party came into power, the security policy was
bad. The policy that I have introduced, however, is very clear," Netanyahu
said. "We are doing a lot. We are not just reacting to the situation
but instead we are carrying out preventative actions," the prime
Netanyahu is widely expected to deliver a
new diplomatic initiative during his visit to the US, after sources close
to the prime minister floated the idea that a major speech would be
given in front of the US Congress. The move would come ahead of a
Palestinian initiative scheduled for September, when the Palestinian Authority will ask the
United Nations to recognize its statehood within pre-1967 borders.
Until Monday, Netanyahu had said he was yet to decide when to deliver the speech, or what to say in it.
Speaking in Jerusalem at a biannual luncheon with the ambassadors from
EU countries posted in Israel, the prime minister – when asked about the
speech and its content – said, “I have not decided what and when. But
two questions needed to be answered: First, can we get back to direct
negotiations with the Palestinians, and I am doubtful. And second, what
can you do if there are no negotiations?”
The “stumbling block” to movement in the diplomatic process was that the
Palestinian Authority was working on the assumption that it didn’t need
to negotiate, and that it had a “free pass” from the world not to
negotiate, Netanyahu said.
Herb Keinon contributed to this report.