PM: Israel faces the 'Goldstone threat'

PM urges MKs to unite in

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told the Knesset plenum on Wednesday that in the face of the Iranian nuclear threat, concerted attacks on Israel's right to self defense and a stalled peace process, it was imperative for the opposition to support the government. Netanyahu opened his address to the plenum by listing the major issues facing the country, which he said were "the Iranian [nuclear] threat, the missile threat and a threat I call the Goldstone threat, along with the mission of renewing and completing the peace process with the Palestinians." Israel was working intensively on the Iranian issue, the prime minister told the lawmakers. "We are dealing with this a whole lot. Not everything is evident, and sanctions are an important and even necessary condition, [only] time will tell if they are sufficient, to stop the Iranian nuclear program. I assess that the UN will make decisions on the matter in February," Netanyahu said. Regarding the "Goldstone threat," Netanyahu told the lawmakers: "Goldstone is a codeword for an attempt to delegitimize Israel's right to self-defense." "The international battle against Israel began in UN Durban Conference I, and continued in the 2005 IJC advisory opinion against the security fence and in the Durban Conference II, as well as the Goldstone Report. This is a comprehensive attack, not on a specific Israeli government but on the state of Israel." "Fighting against terrorists requires internal unity. We mustn't search for the cracks through which to weaken or attack the government at these times," he said. On the Palestinian issue, Netanyahu claimed the principles set by the government represented a wide consensus. "I set two basic principles that almost everyone ... can agree to; a demand to recognize Israel as a Jewish state - meaning that the Palestinians must give up the demand for the return of Palestinian refugees, and a demand for real demilitarization of a Palestinian state," he said. Netanyahu said the Palestinians were stalling on negotiations with the aim of blaming Israel "despite the facts" and causing divisions among the country's public and politicians. "Our internal unity is important to successfully deal with the attacks on Israel's right to self-defense and in order to continue the peace process. When we fight false accusations made against Israel we must fight together. We must do this together. The real options are either to ram the government or to support it. This is no less than what I asked of the opposition only several months ago when I was chairman of the opposition," Netanyahu asserted.