"The biggest mistake that can be made is to promise [to the Palestinians] the establishment of their own independent state." So said Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu exactly seven years ago, in a strong warning against giving in to international pressure on Israel in "final status" talks with the Palestinian Authority.
It was in May 2002, when the Likud Central Committee held a stormy session in which it voted overwhelmingly for then-MK Netanyahu's position against the formation of a Palestinian state in
Netanyahu: All the Reasons to Oppose a Palestinian Authority State
Today, as Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu is once again being pressured to agree to a Palestinian Authority State. As a public service, Israel National News publishes excerpts from Netanyahu’s speech in 2002 in strong opposition to such an entity:
"The biggest mistake that can be made is to promise the greatest prize for Palestinian terrorism: the establishment of their own independent state. Most people now feel that a state under Arafat would be a terrorist fortress dedicated to our destruction.
"But some say that without Arafat, with a different leadership and with all sort of reforms, things will be different. Let's see if this is true. We want to ensure that such an entity does not receive more than self-rule. But it will demand all the powers of a state, such as controlling borders, bringing in weapons, control of airspace and the ability to knock down any Israeli plane that enters its area, the ability to sign peace treaties and military alliances with other countries. Once you give them a state, you give them all these things, even if there is an agreement to the contrary, for within a short time they will demand all these things, and they will assume these powers, and the world will stand by and do nothing - but it *will* stop us from trying to stop them...
"We will thus have created with our own hands a threat to our very existence. On the day that we sign an agreement for a state with limited authorities, what will happen if the Palestinians do what the Germans did after World War I, when they nullified the demilitarized zone? The world did nothing then, and the world will do nothing now as well. Even now, the Palestinians are removing all the restrictions to which they agreed in
"Arafat said it best when talking to reporters the day he signed the Oslo Accords: 'Since we can't defeat Israel in war, we must do it in stages, we must take whatever area of Palestine we can get, establish sovereignty there, and then at the right time, we will have to convince the Arab nations to join us in dealing the final blow to Israel.' Self-rule, yes. But a state with which to destroy the State of Israel - no...
"We are told that the idea of a Palestinian state is just a vision for the future, not for right now. Well, our nation, too, has a vision for the future: ‘The wolf shall lie down with the lamb.’ When this vision is fulfilled in the
"When Arafat threatened to declare a Palestinian state in 1999, I announced at the United Nations that if he did so, we would annex broad areas of
"...We need not be concerned that the international community does not agree with us on this matter. Did the international community foresee the Holocaust? And if it did, did it do anything about it? Did it even lift a finger? It also did nothing about the threat to our existence that faced us from the Iraqi reactor – except to condemn us when Menachem Begin’s government destroyed it… On matters vital to our existence, we always took clear action, even if others didn’t agree with us. Because the bottom line is that saying 'Yes' to a Palestinian state means 'No' to a Jewish State, and vice-versa.”