PM Netanyahu: Dear Arab citizens of Israel--take part in our society in droves.
(photo credit: screenshot)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Friday that Palestinian leaders have one pre-condition before establishing a future Palestinian state: No Jews.
Netanyahu called the demand "ethnic cleansing."
The prime minister made the comments during an all English video posted
to the social media site Facebook before the start of Shabbot.
Netanyahu opens the message by challenging the notion that "Jewish communities in Judea Samaria, the West Bank, are an obstacle to peace," saying "I've always been perplexed by this notion."
"Because no one would seriously claim that the nearly two million Arabs living inside Israel – that they're an obstacle to peace. That's because they aren't. On the contrary."
The premier added, "Israel's diversity shows its openness and readiness for peace. Yet the Palestinian leadership actually demands a Palestinian state with one per-condition: No Jews."
"There's a phrase for that: It's called ethnic cleansing."
The prime minster continued, calling the demand "outrageous," adding "It's even more outrageous that the world doesn't find this outrageous. Some otherwise enlightened countries even promote this outrage."
Netanyahu then asks viewers: "Would you accept ethnic cleansing in your state? A territory without Jews, without Hispanics, without blacks? Since when is bigotry a foundation for peace?"
The prime minister concludes the video by stating, "Ethnic cleansing for peace is absurd. It's about time somebody said it. I just did."
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has stated previously that no Israeli settlers or border forces could remain in a future Palestinian state and that Palestinians deem illegal all Jewish settlement building within the land occupied in the 1967 Six Days War.
"In a final resolution, we would not see the presence of a single Israeli - civilian or soldier - on our lands," Abbas said in 2013 during a briefing with mostly Egyptian journalists in Cairo.
Israel has been continuously criticized by the international community for its construction in east Jerusalem and the West Bank since the conclusion of the 1967 war when it wrested control away from Jordan.
In early July, a report commissioned by the Middle East peace "Quartet", made up of the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations, stated that Israel's settlement construction policy was "steadily eroding the viability of the two state solution."
"This raises legitimate questions about Israel's long term intentions which are compounded by the statements of some Israeli ministers that there should never be a Palestinian state," the report added.
Reuters contributed to this article.