PM urges friendly states to reject PA unilateralism

“We should spend the next year trying to reach an historic agreement for peace and not waste time arguing about marginal issues," he said.

November 9, 2010 09:51
1 minute read.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu speaks at GA

Netanyahu GA speech 311. (photo credit: Avi Ohayon)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Monday he hoped that states friendly to Israel would not let the Palestinians avoid direct negotiations and take unilateral action.

“The Palestinians may think they can avoid negotiations. They may think that the world will dictate Palestinian demands to Israel,” Netanyahu told the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America in New Orleans.

“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,” Netanyahu said. “There is only one path to peace – that is through a negotiated settlement.”

While in the US, Netanyahu is hoping to find a way to break the stalled peace process with the Palestinians who have insisted that they will not hold direct talks with Israel until it stops settlement construction.

Israel has refused that demand and has called on the Palestinians to hold talks without preconditions. Palestinians, in turn, have threatened that they would seek recognition for a unilateral declaration of statehood from the UN with borders set at the pre-1967 lines if Israel did not soon stop Jewish construction in the West Bank.

At the GA, Netanyahu said, “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.”

He called on the Palestinians to resume direct negotiations without preconditions..

To the Palestinians, he said, “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.” Netanyahu added that he was confident that if both sides showed goodwill, a formula could be found that would allow the peace process to continue.

After his speech, Netanyahu left New Orleans to head to New York, where he was expected to meet with UN Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon. It is likely that he will urge Ban not to support Palestinian unilateralism. Other regional topics such as Iran are also likely to be on the agenda.

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