Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday night addressed delegates to the pro-Israel AIPAC convention currently taking place in Washington, D.C. Netanyahu related to several main points in his address, which was broadcast by satellite from Israel. Most prominent was his call for negotiations with Palestinian Authority (PA) leaders.
“We are prepared to resume peace negotiations without any delay or any preconditions. The sooner, the better,” he stated.
Nonetheless, Netanyahu did not make mention of “a Palestinian state” during his speech. He clarified that a permanent arrangement for peace with the Arabs could only be possible if the PA Arabs recognize Israel as the national state of the Jewish People.
Although the Prime Minister stated that no preconditions would be necessary to begin negotiations, he stated earlier Monday that recognition of Israel is a “necessary basis for a true peace.” In an address in honor of the birthday of 19th century Zionist visionary Theodor Herzl, the Prime Minister stated, “Whoever does not feel – and does not respect – the Jewish people's deep connection to its Land, does not really respect the Jewish People's legitimate rights; therefore, recognition of the State of Israel as the national state of the Jewish People is a necessary basis for a true peace between us and our Palestinian neighbors.”
Netanyahu emphasized that Israel will never endanger its own security. “There can be hope and a better future for the Palestinians and us,” he added.
Netanyahu announced that negotiations would need to be conducted on three tracks: political, security, and economic. “Economic negotiations are no substitute for political negotiations,” he said.
The Prime Minister also related to the Iranian nuclear threat. “Israeli, Arabic, European, and many leaders of the world know that they must not allow Iran to be stocked with nuclear weaponry.”