Tags: Barack Obama | Middle East | Israel | Netanyahu | Obama | Israel | Palestinians

Netanyahu: Israel Needs 'Defensible' Peace

By Hiram Reisner   |   Wednesday, 25 May 2011 09:04 AM

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he is glad that President Barack Obama clarified his remarks that Israel does not need to retreat to the 1967 borders. Netanyahu also said Tuesday on Fox News that Israel needs a “defensible” peace.

Benjamin Netanyahu and President Barack Obama
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Barack Obama met last week after Obama's controversial speech. (Getty Images Photo)
“He said, there will be no return to the June 4th, 1967, lines — and I agree with that obviously because I think those lines are indefensible,” Netanyahu said. “Israel would only be nine miles wide — that is kind of hard to defend. You know, that's half the width of the Washington Beltway. I was in the Capitol today. It's the width from the Capitol building to Bethesda.

“Just imagine America compressed to half the Washington Beltway — we won’t be able to defend ourselves,” he told Fox News’ Sean Hannity. “So, I said that we would have to maintain a permanent Israeli presence along the Jordan River. And I think there’s agreement between Israel and United States, that Israel must have defensible borders. Because in our part of the world, there’s a simple truth, a peace you can defend is a peace that will not hold.”

Netanyahu said Obama reassured “Israel that we'll have a defensible peace, a realistic peace.”

“And I think also that the fact that he said that peace will only be negotiated between the parties,” he said. “It’s not going to be imposed by the U.N. The U.N. can decide anything. The U.N. can decide that the sun revolves around the earth and that both are flat discs.

“It could actually do that — they pass these outrageous resolutions. So, when the president said that’s not going to happen,” Netanyahu added. “And that’s not going to succeed in the Security Council, because they will block it. And because peace has to be negotiated. So, a negotiated peace in which the Palestinians recognize, finally recognize the Jewish state. And in which Israel has defensible boundaries, that's a good thing. I agree with that, obviously.”

Hannity asked Netanyahu about his relationship with Obama and how it has evolved.

“I think it is a very, very important and positive development and a positive relationship — we have a lot of things that don't meet the eye — people don't see it,” Netanyahu said. “The press loves to take differences we have, blow it up, you know, it is very attractive.

“And we have so much more that we agree on than those areas that we disagree on — and there are things that people don't know. They don't know that Israeli-American security cooperation is at an all-time high,” he said.

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