Quotations by
Benjamin Netanyahu Before the U.S. Congress
May 24, 2011

“Our conflict has never been about the establishment of a Palestinian State; it’s always been about the existence of the Jewish state.  This is what this conflict is about.”

“I stood before my people and said, ‘I will accept a Palestinian state.’  It’s time for President Abbas to stand before his people and say, ‘I will accept a Jewish state.’  Those six words will change history.  They’ll make it clear to the Palestinians that this conflict must come to an end—that they’re not building a Palestinian state to continue the conflict with Israel but to end it.  And those six words will convince the people of Israel that they have a true partner for peace.”

“The status of the settlements will be decided only in negotiations, but we must also be honest.  So I’m saying today something that should be said publicly by all those who are serious about peace.  In any real peace agreement, in any peace agreement that ends the conflict, some settlements will end up beyond Israel’s borders.  Now the precise deliniation of those borders must be negotiated.  We’ll be generous about the size of the future Palestinian state.  But as President Obama said, the border will be different than the one that existed on January 4, 1967.  Israel will not return to the indefensible boundaries of 1967.”

“The Palestinian refugee problem will be resolved outside the borders of Israel.”

“In the Middle East, the only peace that will hold is a peace that you can defend, so peace must be anchored in security.  In recent years, Israel withdrew from south Lebanon and from Gaza.  We thought we’d get peace.  That’s not what we got.  We got twelve thousand rockets fired from those areas on our cities, on our children.”

“Peace can only be negotiated with partners committed to peace, and Hamas is not a partner for peace.  Hamas remains committed to Israel’s destruction and to terrorism.  They have a charter.  That charter not only calls for the obliteration of Israel; it says ‘Kill the Jews everywhere you find them.’  Hamas’ leader condemned the killing of Osama bin Laden and praised him as a ‘holy warrior.’”

“Israel is prepared to sit down today and negotiate peace with the Palestinian Authority.  I believe we can fashion a brilliant future for our children.  But Israel will not negotiate with a Palestinian government backed by the Palestinian version of Al Qaeda.  That we will not do.  So I say to President Abbas:  Tear up your pact with Hamas!  Sit down and negotiate!  Make peace with the Jewish state!  And if you do, I promise you this:  Israel will not be the last country to welcome the Palestinian state as a new member of the United Nations; it will be the first to do so.”