In his speech to Congress today, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said quite rightly that “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”¦.In recent years, the Palestinians twice refused generous offers by Israeli prime ministers to establish a Palestinian state on virtually all the territory won by Israel in the Six Day War. They were simply unwilling to end the conflict. And I regret to say this: They continue to educate their children to hate. They continue to name public squares after terrorists. And worst of all, they continue to perpetuate the fantasy that Israel will one day be flooded by the descendants of Palestinian refugees. My friends, this must come to an end.”
Confronting directly the common mainstream media spin, emanating from Palestinian propaganda, that Israel is the aggressor and the Palestinians are the victims, he challenged Mahmoud Abbas to reverse his recent accord with Hamas and pursue a genuine path to peace. Echoing Reagan, Netanyahu declared: “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 a Palestinian state as a new member of the United Nations; it will be the first to do so.”
Obviously truth-telling and appeals to human decency were never going to be acceptable to the Palestinian jihadis. And so: “Palestinians: Netanyahu peace outline unacceptable,” by Mohammed Daraghmeh for the Associated Press, May 24:
RAMALLAH, West Bank — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s parameters for a peace deal, outlined in a speech to the U.S. Congress on Tuesday, fell far short of what is needed to resume negotiations, Palestinian officials said.
Nabil Shaath, an aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said Netanyahu’s insistence on keeping key parts of the territories the Palestinians want for their state is a “declaration of war against the Palestinians.” […] “We have nothing but to continue our struggle in the international arena and to continue building our state and to continue our popular struggle,” he said, referring to demonstrations and protests against Israel. “We don’t have a partner for peace,” he said.
In two policy speeches in recent days, President Barack Obama said that the pre-1967 war line must serve as the basis for negotiations, while allowing for mutually agreed land swaps. The Palestinians have said negotiations can resume only if Netanyahu commits to that principle and halts settlement construction.
“What Netanyahu said in his speech tonight is a clear rejection of the suggestions of President Obama concerning the borders of 1967,” said Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rdeneh. “Actually, what he did is that he put more obstacles in the path of peace.”
In Gaza, the Islamic militant Hamas was equally critical. “Netanyahu denied us all our rights,” said Sami Abu Zuhri, a spokesman. “We must work to adopt an Arab and Palestinian strategy based on the right of resistance.”…