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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

PM Netanyahu's Address at the Knesset Herzl Day

Prime Minister Netanyahu addressed the Knesset yesterday.  Here are some excerpts.
Two days ago, on the Tenth of Iyar, it was the 107th anniversary of Theodore Herzl's death.  It is no coincidence that his is the only portrait hanging on these walls.  Herzl was the greatest leader the Jewish people has had in modern times.  He was well aware of the condition of the Jewish people.  He recognized the transformations that were taking place everywhere; and he clearly saw that a Jewish state was required in order for the Jewish people to survive, and that having an army was a necessity for the survival of this state.  And not just an army, but a strong, modern army, equipped with advanced technology.

...What can we learn today from Herzl's work?  What is relevant to us today?  The first lesson is that we must recognize changing reality.  The Middle East is changing rapidly and drastically.  Hundreds of millions of people around us yearn for political and financial freedom and are fighting to obtain these freedoms.  These are inevitable changes.  It is very possible that in the long term, these changes will be for the best, and I hope they will, for the good of these people and because at the end of the day, if this struggle is successful, it will promote the chance for peace and the peace's resilience.  But in the short term, in the interim, our situation could possibly worsen, be more problematic and more challenging.  We can see what is happening in Egypt, in Syria and in Lebanon.  Lebanon is now controlled by Hezbollah, under the sponsorship of Iran, when only five years ago there was such great hope for freedom and progress.  We saw what happened along the borders of Israel yesterday.  Thousands thronged against our fences in an attempt to invade our territory and challenge our sovereignty.  I must say that from the point of view of yesterday's rioters, 63 years of Israeli independence have changed nothing.
... I know that a huge majority of people understands that we can only make peace with those who want to make peace with us.  Those who wish to obliterate us are no partners for peace.  A Palestinian government with half its members declaring daily that they plan to annihilate the Jewish state is not a partner for peace.  Those who say, and I am familiar with the saying, that you only make peace with your enemies, must complement the statement with a small but important remark. You only make peace with an enemy, but with an enemy who has decided to make peace. 
Read more at the Prime Minister's Office

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