Binyamin Netanyahu
Binyamin Netanyahu Miriam Alster/Flash 90

Whether or not it has a partner in the effort, Israel will act to reduce the tension with the Palestinians, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Monday. Speaking at a Knesset event commemorating the twentieth anniversary of the murder of Yitzhak Rabin, Netanyahu said that Israel would implement its own steps to reduce the level of violence in the country.

Israel would especially work to improve the economic situation of Palestinians, “while at the same time fighting terror with all our capabilities. I believe that any intelligent leader would do the same, in known and new ways, and with the assistance of other states in the region. We must remove the Palestinians the hope that they will one day force us to surrender by the power of the sword. Only when they understand that this will not work will they return the sword to its sheath.

Netanyahu stressed that despite their best efforts, none of the six prime ministers that had been in office since the death of Rabin had managed to actualize the vision of peace as laid out in the Oslo Accords. “If they are not prepared to recognize Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people and give up on their dream of returning to Haifa and Jaffa, if they continue to teach their children to hate Jews and to see Israelis as imperialists, of course there will be no peace,” said Netanyahu.

Responding to Netanyahu's statements, Zionist Camp leader Yitzhak Herzog said that Netanyahu was far from being the leader Rabin was. “Ten years have passed and Israel yearns for real leadership, a responsible leadership that knows how to make decisions.

Instilling fear in people is not a plan, and you, Mr. Netanyahu – all of your actions, your speeches, your decisions are fear-filled. For 20 years we have been missing Yitzhak Rabin, but we are soon coming to the tenth anniversary of your leadership. Israel is burning, from north to south and east to west. People are being stabbed and shot each day. There is no place for you to be blaming others – you, Mr. Prime Minister, are to blame,” he added.

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