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September 9, 2016 10:38 am

Israeli Prime Minister: Ethnic Cleansing for Peace Is Absurd, Settlements Are Not Obstacle to Agreement With Palestinians (VIDEO)

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo: YouTube screenshot.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo: YouTube screenshot.

Settlements in the West Bank are not preventing peace with the Palestinians, Israel’s prime minister said on Friday

In a video published on his Facebook page, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that the main obstacle to peace was the “outrageous” demand of Palestinian leaders for the “ethnic cleansing” of Jews from the West Bank.

The prime minister said he has always been “perplexed” by the assertion that peace was not possible because of the presence of Jews in the West Bank “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.”

Netanyahu went on to say, “Israel’s diversity shows its openness and readiness for peace. Yet the Palestinian leadership actually demands a Palestinian state with one pre-condition: No Jews. There’s a phrase for that: It’s called ethnic cleansing.”

Turning to the international community, the prime minister said, “It’s even more outrageous that the world doesn’t find this outrageous. Some otherwise enlightened countries even promote this outrage. Ask yourself this: Would you accept ethnic cleansing in your state? A territory without Jews, without Hispanics, without blacks? Since when is bigotry a foundation for peace?”

Furthermore, Netanyahu said, “I think what makes peace impossible is intolerance of others. Societies that respect all people are the ones that pursue peace. Societies that demand ethnic cleansing don’t pursue peace. I envision a Middle East where young Arabs and young Jews learn together, work together, live together side by side in peace. Our region needs more tolerance, not less.”

In conclusion, the prime minister declared, “Ethnic cleansing for peace is absurd. It’s about time somebody said it. I just did.”

Over the years, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has demanded that no Jews be allowed to remain in areas of the West Bank that become part of a future Palestinian state. Netanyahu, on the other hand, has said no Jews will be uprooted from their homes within the framework of a peace agreement with the Palestinians and that Jews should be allowed to live in a Palestinian state.

Watch the video of Netanyahu’s remarks below:

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