September 24, 2009 2:16:43 pm
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Wednesday praised US President Barack Obama’s UN address,which backed Israel’s right to live securely,stressed its legitimacy as a “Jewish state,” and urged the Palestinians to relaunch negotiations without preconditions.
The speech was “good and positive” for Israel and for moving the peace process forward, Netanyahu told The Jerusalem Post.
“He said what we have been saying for months,that we need to restart negotiations without preconditions,” Netanyahu said,a few hours after Obama’s address at the UN General Assembly.
Netanyahu also said it was important that “Obama spoke clearly in his speech about Israel as a Jewish state. The lack of recognition of that fact is the root of the problem.”
Obama,in his first UN speech to the General Assembly,also addressed the threat posed by Iran and North Korea,railed against al-Qaida and terrorism and called for greater action from the world community.
He especially challenged the international community to make good on its talk of wanting to see peace between Israelis and Palestinians,in an address that spent considerably more time on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict than on many other global issues. He implicitly chided the world organization for having devoted considerably more time and attention to chronicling alleged Israeli misdeeds.
“The time has come to relaunch negotiations – without preconditions. The goal is clear: two states living side by side in peace and security – a Jewish state of Israel,with true security for all Israelis,and a viable,independent Palestinian state with contiguous territory that ends the occupation that began in 1967,and realizes the potential of the Palestinian people,” Obama said.
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