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PM Netanyahu addresses Diplomatic Corps on Independence Day 2016

 

PM Netanyahu: I want to state unequivocally and in front of diplomats from around the world: I continue to support two states for two peoples: a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes the Jewish state. It's about time.

 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on the occasion of Israel’s Independence Day, made the following remarks at the President's Residence in Jerusalem to the Diplomatic Corps:

 

"I have a special affection for the diplomatic service because I entered public life 34 years ago as Israel's Deputy Chief of Mission in Washington D.C. At the time, the number of states that had formal diplomatic relations with Israel was very small. Today we have full diplomatic relations with 159 states. There are not many left. And those that are left I can count maybe on the fingers of one hand, at a stretch you can go to the other hand.

 

Those with which we don't have some kind of active liaison, there's been a great change in our fortunes in our foreign relations. Scarcely a day passes that we don’t have diplomatic delegations or trade delegations or technological delegations or security delegations not only from our great traditional ally the United States, and of course the European countries, but also from Asia, from Africa, from Latin America, from every part of the world.

 

Countries are coming to Israel for two main reasons: One, they identify that Israel has significant contributions to make in our common battle, the battle of civilized countries against the dark forces of Islamic radicalism, those headed by Iran and Isis as the President correctly said.

They seek our help in intelligence, in logistics, our experience in combatting terrorism, in strengthening security, our common security

 

The second reason that people are coming here is, in a word, technology. The future belongs to those who innovate. Israel is the innovation nation. It is eager to share its contributions, its abilities, and some significant sparks of genius with the rest of mankind and womankind. If you hold a cellphone, a good chunk of it was made in Israel or thought up in Israel. If you eat a salad, and you eat a cherry tomato – Israel. If you have Alzheimer's, I hope you don't, but you have cures that are made in Israel. And if you want to work out a riddle – how to have a water surplus when you have no water? Come to Israel. Or make more milk per cow? Come to Israel.

 

 

And many countries are coming for these two reasons – security and technology. Which means fighting the forces of the past and seizing together the opportunities of the future.

This coincides with the consistent attempt to delegitimize Israel, but I think that ultimately this trend will overcome and dominate because the future belongs to those who seize the future.

 

So today, I want to tell you why I am hopeful about the future. 68 years ago, the State of Israel was born. It was weak, disorganized. It was isolated and besieged. Today, Israel is strong. It's stable. It's prosperous; it's vibrant.

And many of your nations, those represented here, are cooperating in so many ways (sometimes more than we can publish), many important ways.

 

For over a decade, I've been honored to lead the people of Israel as their prime minister.

I am hopeful because I have seen with my own eyes the common sense and uncommon courage of the Israeli mothers and fathers who send their precious children to defend our country.

 

In my 66 years, I have traversed the land more times than I can count. I mean traversed it literally with my feet when I was a soldier like the young soldiers who are honored here today at the President's house. But I've traversed it in many other ways – going into communities, going into cities and into farms and to see the life force within our people…

I'm hopeful because the young Israelis I meet are willing, if I can borrow a phrase, are willing to bear any burden and pay any price for bettering our nation.

Most of all, I'm hopeful because I know that we will never give up on peace.

 

In my lifetime, I have seen Israel make peace…you can applaud, it's fine…in my lifetime I've seen Israel make peace with two Arab states – states that once fought brutal wars against us. And, in recent years, I've seen formerly hostile states in the region and beyond, but especially in the region, form new and deep partnerships with us. I think this is a matter of great importance because I think this creates new hope.

 

We can advance peace with the Palestinians directly and through the support of other nations, including in the region. It was once thought that the only way that we could advance peace with the Arab states was to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. That would certainly help enormously. But it's also true that we might solve the Israeli-Palestinian problem by enjoying the support of Arab states who now see Israel more and more not as an enemy, but as an ally against the forces that threaten their own countries as well.

 

I have a deep and abiding faith that Israel will have peace with many more of our neighbors and that our century-long conflict will end.

How will it end?

 

I know there is skepticism about my position. You can just repeat it ad nauseam and it becomes…it assumes the cachet of self-evident truth, but the facts are important. I have taken steps that no other prime minister in Israel's history has taken to advance peace. So far, they've not been answered. But I want to state unequivocally and in front of diplomats from around the world: I continue to support two states for two peoples: a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes the Jewish state. It's about time.

 

That remains the core of this conflict: The persistent refusal to recognize a Jewish state in any boundary. And this is why this conflict preceded the Six-Day war by nearly 50 years. But I don’t believe that any issue is so complex that it cannot be solved. All we ask for is the right to live in peace in our ancestral homeland, the land of Israel.

And my call for peace today is not hypothetical.

 

I just gave a Twitter conference. It's the sign of the times. I think President Obama and Prime Minister Trudeau preceded me. Talk to everyone in the world. And they said, "Are you willing to sit down and talk peace?" and I said, yes. Yes, I am. In fact, I'm willing to do so right now, today. To meet President Abbas today in Jerusalem. If he'd like, in Ramallah. If any of you ladies and gentlemen want to offer a different place that’s fine with me too. I have my preferences; we'll talk about it later. Right now. Today. And not next week. This week.

 

Because you cannot make peace with somebody who even refuses to sit down with you. And because every minute that President Abbas refuses to accept my call for peace robs Palestinians and Israelis of the opportunity to live without fear. It robs our children and our grandchildren of the opportunity they so richly deserve.

 

Peace is my vision.

Mutual recognition is my hope.

Security is my duty.

 

And I will work every day of every week of every month to advance peace and security for our people. I ask all of you to join me in providing hope for a better future. You can encourage President Abbas to accept my offer of direct talks today. Because direct talks are not merely the most likely and best path for peace. Ultimately, it's the only way that you will achieve a peace that will endure. And Israelis and Palestinians deserve no less.

 

Thank you all for your service. Thank you for coming here to honor Israel's Independence Day

 

 

 

 

 

PM Netanyahu addressing members of the Diplomatic Corps at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem. Photo: GPO/Haim Zach.

 

 

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President Reuven Rivlin today (Wednesday) met at his residence in Jerusalem with United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Nikki R. Haley.

President Rivlin welcomed her and said, “You are a dear friend of Israel. We appreciate your strong stand on the world’s most important stage, in support of the security of the people and the State of Israel. With your support we see the beginning of a new era. Israel is no longer alone at the UN. Israel is no longer the UN’s punching bag.”

He continued, “When I spoke at the UN on Holocaust Memorial Day, I said that the UN must learn from the lessons of the past, and stand up against hatred and racism. I said it must end its obsession with targeting Israel. Progress has been made. Israel’s standing at the UN has improved. But sadly, we have a long way to go. Both in holding to account, public statements made by officials, and in supporting regulation to reduce the ridiculous number of discussions and resolutions against Israel. This is also true in the Human Rights Council - which has been hijacked as a weapon against Israel - and in UNESCO, where they seek to rub out the history of the Jewish people.”

The President thanked the Ambassador for her great contribution to the State of Israel, and said, “Ambassador Haley, as the representative the US - Israel’s greatest and strongest ally - we appreciate very much your support of Israel, and all you do to stand up for the values of freedom and democracy which we share. Welcome to Israel, welcome to Jerusalem.”

Ambassador Haley thanked the President for his warm welcome and said, “Thank you Mr. President for taking the time to meet with us, it is an absolute thrill to be here in Israel, I so much appreciate the support we have received from the people of Israel. But I feel somewhat guilty because all I did at the United Nations was tell the truth. I have never taken kindly to bullies, and the UN has bullied Israel for a very long time, and we are not going to let that happen anymore. It is a new day for Israel in the United Nations. We just got back from Geneva, talking about the Human Rights Council and hopefully it will be a new day at the Human Rights Council when it comes to Israel.”

She concluded by saying she was greatly looking forward to her visit to Israel and said, “I am looking forward to taking in the history, the beauty, the tradition, and all that comes with the magic of Israel. Thank you very much for having me it is a pleasure to be here.”

Photo credit: Mark Neiman (GPO)

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Jerusalem Israel Clear (night), 22 °C
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MARKET MOVERS article

NMS : YHOO - 01 Jan,
+0.00 (+0.00%) After Hours:
Open Mktcap
High 52wk Hight 57.39
Low 52wk Low 35.05
Vol 0 Avg Vol 19.80M
Eps 0.71 P/e
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Alphabet Inc.

NMS : GOOG - 28 Jul, 11:27am
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High 938.51 52wk Hight 988.25
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Vol 509753 Avg Vol 1.77M
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Open 149.8900 Mktcap 779.89B
High 150.2300 52wk Hight 156.6500
Low 149.2600 52wk Low 96.4200
Vol 6.89M Avg Vol 27.68M
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