One lie about two states

Countless times in the past few weeks, foreign reporters and commentators have stated, as fact, that Binyamin Netanyahu is not committed to the two-state solution. That’s bogus.

Here is an exerpt from the speech that Netanyahu delivered to Congress shortly after he won the prime ministership in 1996:

Perhaps our most demanding joint effort has been the endless quest to achieve peace and stability for Israel and its Arab neighbors. American presidents have joined successive Israeli governments in an untiring effort to attain this peace.

The first historic breakthrough was led by Prime Minister Begin and Presidents Carter and Sadat at Camp David. The most recent success was our pact with Jordan under the auspices of President Clinton. These efforts, I believe, are clear proof of our intentions and our direction. We want peace. We want peace with all our neighbors. We have no quarrel with them which cannot be resolved by peaceful means. Nor, I must say, do we have a quarrel with Islam. We reject the thesis of an inevitable clash of civilizations. We do not subscribe to the idea that Islam has replaced Communism as the new rival of the West, because our conflict is specific. It is with those militant fanatics who pervert the central tenets of a great faith towards violence and world domination. Our hand is stretched in peace to all who would grasp it. We don’t care about their religion. We don’t care about their national identity. We don’t care about their ideological belief. We care about peace, and our hand is stretched out to peace.

Every Israeli wants peace. I don’t think there is a people who has yearned, prayed and sacrificed more for peace than we have. There is not a family in Israel that has not suffered the unbearable agony of war and, directly or indirectly, the excruciating, ever-lasting pain of grief. The mandate we have received from the people of Israel is to continue the search for an end to wars and an end to grief. I promise you: We are going to live up to this mandate. We will continue the quest for peace, and, to this end, we are ready to resume negotiations with the Palestinian Authority on the implementation of our Interim Agreement.

I want to say something about agreements. Some of you speak Latin, or at least studied Latin. “Pacta sunt servanta” – we believe agreements are made to be kept. This is our policy, and we expect the Palestinian side to abide by its commitments. On this basis, we will be prepared to begin final status negotiations as well.

That was not the first time that he made such statements, and it was not the last. His remarks are not hidden, nor are they kept solely in Hebrew. Anyone willing to do 5 minutes of research can find them. Which means that anyone who says Netanyahu is not committed to the creation of a Palestinian state is either a fool, or a liar.

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