Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is hoping to commence a process in Washington which will end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict "once and for all." In a special speech to be delivered Wednesday night at the White House Netanyahu is slated to state he does not seek a cease fire but lasting peace.
"I am very pleased to be here today to begin our common effort to achieve lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians," Netanyahu is slated to say.
"I want to thank you President Obama for your tireless effort to renew the quest for peace. I want to thank Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Senator Mitchell, the many members of the Obama administration and Tony Blair, who have all worked so hard to bring Israelis and Palestinians together here today."
The prime minister will also want Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Jordanian King Abdullah "for their support of these talks and for their continuous efforts to promote peace, security and stability in our region. "
According to Netayahu, Israel's goal is to forge a secure and durable peace. "We do not seek interlude between two wars. We do not seek a temporary respite between outbursts of terror. We seek a peace that will end the conflict between us once and for all. We seek a peace that will last for duration. This is the peace my people want. This is the peace we all deserve."
"A lasting peace is a peace between people," the speech notes. "Israelis and Palestinians must learn to live next to one another and with one another. But every peace begins with leaders. President Abbas, you are my partner in peace. It is up to us to overcome the agonizing conflict between our people and to forge a new beginning."
Netanyahu will also stress that "the Jewish people are not strangers in our homeland, the land of our forefathers. But we recognize that other people share this land with us. And I came here today to find a historic compromise that will enable both people to live in peace, security and dignity. I didn’t come here to win an argument. I came here to forge peace. I didn’t come here to play a blame game, where even the winners lose. I came here to achieve a peace that will bring benefit to all."
'Peace would herald new beginning'
The prime minister is also expected to address Tuesday's terrorist attack near Mount Hebron. "Only yesterday four Israelis including a pregnant woman and a mother of six children were brutally murdered by savage terrorists. I am prepared to walk down the path of peace because I also know what peace would mean for our children and grandchildren.
"I know it would herald a new beginning that would unleash unprecedented opportunities for Israelis, Palestinians and the people throughout the region. A period of calm has created an economic boom for Palestinians in Ramallah, Jenin and throughout the West Bank. Real peace can turn this boom into a tidal wave of progress and hope," Netanyahu will say.
Netanyahu will also discuss hopes for future cooperation between Israel and the Palestinians. "If we work together we can take advantage of the great benefits afforded by our unique place under the sun. Our geography, rich history, culture, climate and the talents of our people can create unprecedented opportunities in tourism, trade, industry, energy, water and so much more."
"But peace must also be defended against its enemies," he will stress. "We want the skyline of the West Bank to be dominated by apartment towers, not missiles. We want the roads of the West Bank to flow with commerce, not terrorists. We left Lebanon, we got terror. We left Gaza, we got terror. We want to ensure that territories we concede will not be turned into a third Iranian-sponsored terror enclave, aimed at the heart of Israel.
"That is why a defensible peace requires security arrangements that can withstand the test of time and the many challenges that are sure to confront us. There will be many challenges, both great and small. Let us not get bogged down by every difference between us. Let us direct our courage at the historic decisions that lay ahead.
In conclusion, Netanyahu will note, "There are many skeptics. There are many reasons for skepticism, but I have no doubt that peace is possible. President Abbas, we can't erase the past. But it is within our powers to change the future. Thousands of years ago on the very hills where Israelis and Palestinians live today, the Jewish prophet Isaiah and the other prophets of my people envisioned a lasting peace for all mankind. Let today be the first step, however small, in our joint effort to realize that vision."
Yitzhak Benhorin contributed to this report
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