May 24 - Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu told the U.S. Congress that Israel must seek peace with the Palestinians that will entail ''painful compromises.'' Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the U.S. Congress that Israel must seek peace with the Palestinians that will entail "painful compromises" including the handover of biblical land. Addressing the U.S. Congress after a testy exchange last week with President Barack Obama about the contours of a future Palestinian state, Netanyahu reiterated Israel's terms for permanent accord. SOUNDBITE: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying (English): "I am willing to make painful compromises to achieve this historical peace. As the leader of Israel, it is my responsibility. Now, this is not easy for me. It's not easy, because I recognize that in a genuine peace we will be required to give up parts of the ancestral Jewish homeland," Though he implied Israel would cede some of its Jewish settlements in the West Bank, Netanyahu said other settlements would not return to lines held before the 1967 Middle East war. SOUNDBITE: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying (English): "This compromise must reflect the dramatic demographic changes that have occurred since 1967," he said, his speech repeatedly interrupted by loud applause. Netanyahu also called on Palestinians to see their future "homeland," rather than Israel, as the place to settle refugees. SOUNDBITE: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying (English): "It's time for President Abbas to stand before his people and say, 'I will accept a Jewish state'," "Those six words will change history. They will make it clear to the Palestinians that this conflict will come to an end," he said. "And those six words will convince the people of Israel that they have a true partner for peace." Senior Palestinian leaders told Reuters that they rejected Netanyahu's plans for peace. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters