“We will be very generous on the size of a future Palestinian state. But as President Obama said, the border will be different than the one that existed on June 4, 1967. Israel will not return to the indefensible lines of 1967.”
“Only a democratic Israel has protected freedom of worship for all faiths in the city…Jerusalem must never again be divided. Jerusalem must remain the united capital of Israel. I know that this is a difficult issue for Palestinians. But I believe with creativity and goodwill a solution can be found.”
On Democracy in the Middle East
“Today the Middle East stands at a fateful crossroads. Like all of you, I pray that the peoples of the region choose the path less travelled, the path of liberty...Courageous Arab protesters are now struggling to secure these very rights for their peoples, for their societies. We're proud that over 1 million Arab citizens of Israel have been enjoying these rights for decades. Of the 300 million Arabs in the Middle East and North Africa, only Israel’s Arab citizens enjoy real democratic rights.
“Think about that. Of those 300 million Arabs, less than one-half of one-percent are truly free, and they're all citizens of Israel! This startling fact reveals a basic truth: Israel is not what is wrong about the Middle East. Israel is what is right about the Middle East.”
On A Demilitarized Palestinian State
“If Israel simply walked out of the territories, the flow of weapons into a future Palestinian state would be unchecked. Missiles fired from it could reach virtually every home in Israel in less than a minute. I want you to think about that too. Imagine that right now we all had less than 60 seconds to find shelter from an incoming rocket. Would you live that way? Would anyone live that way? Well, we aren’t going to live that way either.”
To read Netanyahu’s entire speech, go to www.pmo.gov.il/PMOEng, “PM Speeches” May 24, 2011
The Palestinians Respond
Following the expression of US Congressional support for Israel during Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech in Congress [on May 24th], the editor of the official Palestinian Authority [PA] daily wrote an article attacking this show of US–Israel friendship.
“Anyone watching what took place in the Congress would likely be nauseated, because these congressmen and senators lost their dignity and looked like riff-raff. Even the most extreme extremist in the Knesset [Israeli Parliament]would not have applauded in that idiotic manner with every word that Netanyahu uttered.
“The disgraceful applause and the shameful standing [ovations]—31 times—as if they had hemorrhoids and Zionist impaling stakes in their backsides, are something that can be presented to the UN next September, so that the international community might express its opinion concerning the American occupation of Palestinian land and its support of settlement, killing, and expulsion.”
—Hafez Barghouti, editor-in-chief of the PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 26, 2011, as translated by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik, Palestinian Media Watch
Fighting for Israel’s Right to Exist
“We say to him [Netanyahu],when he claims—that they [Jews] have a historical right dating back to 3000 years BCE—we say that the nation of Palestine upon the land of Canaan had a 7,000-year history BCE. This is the truth, which must be understood, and we have to note it, in order to say: 'Netanyahu, you are incidental in history. We are the people of history. We are the owners of history.'”
—Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas in speech delivered by his representative, Abdallah Al-Ifranji, May 14, 2011, translated by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik, Palestinian Media Watch
“The Zionists must acknowledge publicly, in front of the world, that the Jews have no connection to the Palestinian Arab land, upon whose ruins arose the colonialist settler Zionist plan that settles and expels, represented by the Israeli apartheid state. That which occurred 2,000 years ago [i.e. the Jewish/Israeli presence in the land],assuming that it is true, represents in the book of history nothing more than invention and falsification and a coarse and crude form of colonialism.”
—Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 27, 2011, translated by Palestinian Media Watch
“The reason there is no peace is that the Palestinians refuse to recognize the State of Israel as the Jewish people's nation state…This is not a conflict about 1967, this is a conflict about 1948, about the State of Israel's very existence. You must have noticed that yesterday's events [planned Arab rioting on Israel’s borders]did not take place on June 5, the day the Six Day War erupted [in which Israel acquired Gaza, the West Bank, East Jerusalem, the Sinai, and the Golan Heights]; they took place on May 15, the day the State of Israel was established.”
—Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, speaking to the Knesset [Parliament] on May 16, 2011
Source: All Palestinian quotes were translated by Palestinian Media Watch
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