Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to the Knesset on February 2, 2011.
The Prime Minister concisely and cogently summarized the events in Egypt and also touched on the state of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.
Here are a few highlights:
- It is obvious that an Egypt that fully embraces the 21st century and that adopts these reforms would be a source of great hope for the entire world, the region and for us.
- That capital is Tehran, and I assure you, that the leaders in Iran are not interested in the genuine desires of Egyptians for freedom, liberalization or reform, any more than they were interested in answering similar calls for freedom by the Iranian people, their own people, only 18 months ago.
- We have two separate worlds here, two opposites, two world views: that of the free, democratic world and that of the radical world. Which one of them will prevail in Egypt?
- We expect any government of Egypt to honor the peace. Moreover, we expect the international community to expect any government of Egypt to honor the peace. This must be clear, along with the discussions about reform and democracy.
- I said it because a peace agreement, a piece of paper, does not guarantee that the peace will be upheld, not does it guarantee that a partner for peace will survive. Therefore, to protect the agreement and to protect ourselves if the peace were to disappear or be breached, or if one of the sides has a change in government, we need strong, solid security arrangements.
- We have taken great lengths to help the Palestinian economy, not as an alternative to the political peace that we want to negotiate with them, but as a contribution to stability and to help the Palestinian population understand that there is a lot to be gained from peace. In the next few days, I plan to take additional steps to further encourage development and prosperity among the Palestinians.
- In this reality, Israel must fortify its might. We must maintain our security. We must strive for a stable peace with determination, caution, responsibility, and above all, with watchful eyes that recognize reality.
Read entire excerpted speech provided by the Prime Minister’s Office here.