Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will personally deliver Israel's opening speech at the United Nations General Assembly when it convenes on September 20. At a news conference Thursday with Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas, Netanyahu said that he would go to proclaim Israel's truth to whomever was interested in hearing it. “The General Assembly is not a place where Israel usually gets a fair hearing, but I intend to tell the truth to those who wish to hear the truth,” Netanyahu said.
Over the past few weeks, there were unconfirmed reports that President Shimon Peres was to address the General Assembly on behalf of Israel.
At the news conference, Netanyahu said that nothing could change in the Middle East as long as the Palestinian Authority refused to speak directly to Israel. “We believe that the only way to achieve peace is through direct negotiations. We cannot impose any solutions. I have decided to present these messages in the speech I intend to make at the U.N. General Assembly, which I will attend next week.”
Netanyahu's speech is expected to emphasize the damage that will be caused by the PA's plan to seek recognition for a state it plans to declare in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem. Israel has not revealed how it plans to react to such recognition, and has continually stressed that nothing positive could happen on the diplomatic front if negotiations are not resumed.
On Thursday, the PA declared that it would present its statehood bid before the U.N. Security Council, where the United States has already announced it will exercise its veto to block the move.
At the news conference, Netanyahu added that “we cannot build peace on a foundation of lies, because in the end it will break apart on the rocks of truth.”
The Prime Minister also reacted angrily to comments by the PLO's U.S. representative, who emphatically said that Jews would not be allowed to settle in a state run by the Palestinian Authority. “I was very worried to hear an official Palestinian spokesperson talk about a 'Palestine' free of Jews. This is a scandal, and I expect the PA to condemn this statement.”
The PLO is the sole representative of the Palestinian people, according to an agreement signed in Cairo decades ago by all the members of the Arab League, and is the only entity authorized to submit legal applications to the United Nations on behalf of the Palestinian Authority.
Chana Ya'ar contributed to this report.