By: Max Gelber Via United with Israel
Time and again, the Palestinians have walked away from peace negotiations and decided instead to fight Israel, Netanyahu said.
Addressing the Jerusalem Post Annual Conference in New York on Sunday in a taped address, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pointed to several efforts over the past two weeks to harm Israel diplomatically, including the attempt by the Palestinian Authority (PA) to throw Israel out of FIFA, the national student union in Britain’s vote to support a boycott of Israel and the stated intention of Orange, the French telecommunications giant, to end the company’s business dealings with Israel.
“We are in the midst of an orchestrated global campaign to delegitimize Israel,” Netanyahu stated.
“Here’s what’s so absurd about it: The Palestinians walk away from peace negotiations. They walked away from [former Prime Minister Ehud] Barak. They walked away from [former PM Ariel] Sharon. They walked away from [former PM Ehud] Olmert. And they now walk away from me. The Palestinians “consistently shun direct peace talks” but then call for sanctions on Israel “because there are no peace talks,” he said, pointing to the irony.
“Unfortunately, all too many in the international community go along with this charade. Delegitimization must be fought,” the premier said.
Battling Israel’s Right to Exist:
Some claim that the boycotts are a result of Israeli policy, but Netanyahu rejected this line of reasoning. “It’s about our right to exist here as a free people, our right to defend ourselves, our right to determine our own future.”
“Israel is the most embattled democracy on earth”, and even so is “a democracy that rigorously protects the equal rights of all its citizens without exception. This democracy, Israel, seeks a genuine peace with our Palestinian neighbors just as we are fending off the barbaric forces of terrorism and extremism that surround us,” Netanyahu continued.
“In the battle against delegitimization, our most potent weapon is the truth,” he declared. “We must speak the truth – loudly, clearly, proudly. That’s what we must all do.”