PM: We've Compromised Enough for Peace
After making his speech at the UN General Assembly Friday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu did the “interview circuit,” speaking to reporters on various American and Israeli media outlets.
Speaking in an interview broadcast Saturday night, Netanyahu told Israel's Channel Two that Israel welcomed efforts by the Quartet to restart the peace process. “If the basic conditions are taken into consideration and we are able to maintain our security, I believe we will be able to reach a peace agreement.
“I will bring an agreement that will establish a peace settlement between the two nations, with a Palestinian state in selected parts of Judea and Samaria that recognizes Israel as a Jewish state,” Netanyahu said in the interview. "I do not intend to compromise on Israel's security. We evacuated towns, and what came out of it?"
Only more terror, Netanyahu said - and while Israel was able to take a chance in Gaza, far from the country's population centers, it could not afford to do so in Judea and Samaria, where large Israeli communities were located, in some case, just a few hundred meters from PA controlled areas.
Speaking in a separate interview on Israel's Channel 1, Netanyahu stressed that Israel would not give up its minimum demands of recognition as a Jewish state by the Palestinian Authority, and accommodation of its security needs. “We saw what happened in Gaza when we evacuated towns, and we see what is happening now in Sinai,” Netanyahu said. He added that Israel demanded that negotiations include no preconditions.
On Friday, shortly after completely his speech before the General Assembly, Netanyahu's told CNN that it was time to get serious about negotiations. “Let's stop negotiating about negotiations, and stop putting preconditions on the talks. We can talk about the settlements, but they shouldn't be a precondition. You don't predetermine negotiations before they've begun.
"I could put preconditions on [Abbas]," Netanyahu said, "I could tell him to dismantle one of the refugee camps, just one. But I didn't because preconditions are false.”
Netanyahu enumerated the steps he had taken to persuade PA chief Mahmoud Abbas to to return to the negotiating table without results. “I called for a two state solution, I removed 400 roadblocks in order to ease travel for the Palestinians and help their economy. I froze construction in the settlements for ten months. I took a great number of steps that no one took before me,” Netanyahu told CNN.