Netanyahu with Begin picture in background 370.
(photo credit: courtesy Prime Minister's Office)
The Palestinians will need to make concessions during negotiations that will enable Israel to ensure its security and protect its vital national interests, Prime Minster Binyamin Netanyahu said at the opening of Sunday's cabinet meeting.
Netanyahu, at the meeting held at the Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem to mark the centenary of Menachem Begin's birth, stressed that any agreement would be brought to the nation in the form of a referendum for its approval.
"I don't think that decisions like these are possible to make with one coalition or another, but have to be brought to the nation for its decision," he said, in an apparent effort to neutralize opposition from those on his right by assuring them that ultimately the nation will vote on any agreement.
Netanyahu reiterated that in his mind restarting the diplomatic process was a "vital" Israeli strategic interest, and that he would be guided by two principles: to thwart the creation of a bi-national state, and to prevent the establishment of another Iranian-backed terrorist state on Israel's borders.
"We will need to find the balance between those two things," he said, adding that to do this the Palestinians would need to make concessions.
Netanyahu said that Begin both understood and acted on the principle that security comes before all else. "He attacked Saadam Hussein's nuclear reactor in Iraq, and history shows how important that was," he said. "And he also did not hesitate to act against terrorist concentrations in our midst, in Lebanon and elsewhere. We are committed in the same manner to peace and security."