Netanyahu at AIPAC: ‘President Abbas, Recognize the Jewish State’
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday called on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas by name to make that step towards peace that he has studiously avoided during the nearly eight months of ongoing U.S.-brokered peace talks.
Speaking at the 2014 AIPAC Policy Conference, Netanyahu said, “Israel is the nation state of the Jewish people, where the civil rights of all citizens, Jews and non-Jews alike are guaranteed.”
“The land of Israel is the place where the identity of the Jewish people was forged,” he said.
“It was in Hebron where Abraham bought the cave of the Patriarchs and the Matriarchs; it was in Bet El that Jacob dreamed his dreams; it was in Jerusalem that David ruled his kingdom. We never forget that, but it’s time the Palestinians stop denying history.”
“Just as Israel is prepared to recognize a Palestinian state, the Palestinians must be prepared to recognize a Jewish state,” he said.
He then declared: “President Abbas, recognize the Jewish state.”
“And, in doing so, you’d be telling your people, the Palestinians, that while we might have a territorial dispute, the right of the Jewish people to a state of their own is beyond dispute.”
“You would be telling the Palestinians to abandon the fantasy of flooding Israel with refugees or amputating parts of the Negev or the Galilee.”
“In recognizing the Jewish state, you would finally make clear that you are truly prepared to end the conflict,” he said.
“So recognize the Jewish state, no excuses, no delays, it’s time.”