Thursday, April 24, 2014

Minister Naftali Benner delivers a speech in January 2014

Translated to English from Hebrew by Nurit Greenger

Part I -

Israelis are at a cross road today and they need ti decide who are they and where they are going.
It is time to speak clear, to tell the truth.
Once they were telling us to give up land in order to receive peace. There was true belief that if Israel gives up enough Israelis will sit under the vine and fig tree. Eat Humus in Damascus or at least in Ramallah.
Israelis today are more sober, they understand that they guarantee for their existence is a strong army and the belief in their course. One needs to look east or south to comprehend this.

After the Oslo Agreements Israelis said no more spilt blood. But then new generation of balloon kids were born on the White House lawn. Generation its leader received Nobel Peace Prize in Sweden but his children were blown up in the streets of Tel Aviv. The Oslo Palestinian children are now 21 years old; they grow up in Gaza and Ramallah with endless incitement against Israelis. It is planned incitement, systematic, poisonous, that give birth to generations of terrorists. When children are educated in kindergarten with explosive suicide belts, when they go outside to streets named after murderers, whey they watch TV shows full of anti-Semitism they Jews turn to be Satan, lacking human form. And that is how they see the Israelis. No paper, not agreement will change this only they can change it if they really want peace. Ending the incitement today will pave the road for peace in the next generation.
These days, official Palestinian Facebook pages quote Hitler. They quote: “I had the ability to kill all the Jews but I left few alive so that the world will know why I killed the Jews.” In the official school books teach about fighting the Jews and winning the battles against them.
They do not want to have peace. Tel Aviv, from where I speak here is not on their maps. As far as they are concerned, Tel Aviv is a temporary phenomenon. The Palestinian phase plan never died. It is alive kicking in Arabic and in English they speak differently.
So land for peace became irrelevant, so they began speaking about ןif only Israel withdraws from Judea and Samaria, there will be peace. Why? Because terror comes when there are no talk, when the Palestinians are depressed, hope they ask for, hope equals security. But reality and truth speak differently. The negotiations brought about only terror. In 2012 there was only one Israeli killed by terrorist this WITHOUT negotiations. Since the beginning of the news talks a new intifada began that is getting stronger from day to day with over 160 victims.
Giving land brings about peace? We gave back all the land in Gaza and since 13,790 rockets were fired on Israel.
Talks bring security. In the 4 years after Oslo 256 Israelis were murdered in comparison to 97 in the 4 years prior Oslo.
Agreements brought graves and terror, not security and peace.
They tell us time is working against us. It will get worse; it is not the time with last open window for agreements.
Let us lift our heads a little and see what is happening in the world surrounding us.
In France over 1000 vehicles were burned during New Year celebrations. It has become tradition with the young Arab and Moslems living in France. In Iraq, al-Qaeda is back marching in Fallujah. First time since the Americans invaded Iraq in 2003 Islamists are marching in the large city in Iraq. During Christmas bombs blew up near 3 churches.
In Lebanon, a car bomb blew up outside the Hezbollah offices due to Hezbollah involvement in the civil war in Syria where over 150,000 were killed and there is no end in sight. In Afghanistan the Islamic suppression continues. In Egypt violence continues. In Libya armed militia are fighting for control over the country. And Iran continues on the path to nuclear capability despite the agreement that was signed in Geneva. All this happened in one week, really great time to dismantle security assets.
And they the demographic devil appeared. Soon there will be no Jewish majority between the river and the sea, they tell us. Not true! On the contrary. Simply the opposite. The Arabs birth rate is in the decline all over the Arab world including in Judea and Samaria. First time Jewish mothers’ birth rate equal with Arab mothers’ birth rate. On every one Arab birth there are three Jewish births.
Do not get confused, time is working with us, not against us.
The opposites is the truth. A Palestinian state is a demographic threat to Israel. It will flood Israel with refugees. The day after is has been established it will open its borders to all the refugees’ descendants from Lebanon, Syria, Jordan who are not citizens not residents in those countries. For 65 years they are held in some sort of sub-status – Arab apartheid and they will stand with signs, we want home, to Haifa, to Haifa, after all that is where our grandparents lived. And with how the “human rights” groups will stand, with us when they condemn us for the way we “treat” the illegals who snuck into our country from Africa and cause disturbances.
And if there is no peace, no security, no demographic issue so they tell us occupation. And we are a moral country we are not allowed to conquer and occupy.
Let me be clear: a nation does not occupy its own land. It cannot occupy land that biblical sites mentioned in the Bible are everywhere on its land. Abraham our forefather purchased the first piece of land in Hebron. The bible that our Christian friends and the Moslems believe in is alive on our land.
Jerusalem is in the prayers of the entire Jewish nation all over the world.
But we do not rule over the Arabs. From Gaza we move out completely. And since, they do not stop making peace with us as we were promised. The fire peace rockets on us, abduct soldiers for peace and dig tunnels to bring ammunition through them for peace.
In Judea and Samaria they manage their live by themselves. They have their own parliament, educational system, ruling institutes and even democratic elections.
So there is no peace, no security, no demography, no occupation, then why give away our homeland, divide Jerusalem, why commit suicide? No reason, but there is one thing, there is international pressure. It is not easy! But international pressure is not a new thing. It has always been. If we succumbed to international pressure we would be here, we would have not had a country. In March 1948 the Unites State had a remorse for her support to establish a Jewish State. She pressure Israel not to declare an independent state and even threatened with sanctions – the USA against ben Gurion. If Ben Gurion listened to the USA there would have not been Israel, but he stood the pressure.
In 1981 when Menachem Begin annexed the Golan Heights Ronald Reagan, the president of the United States, suspended some of the agreements with Israel and froze Israel’s security requests. What begin said then, you declare that you are punishing Israel, what kind of an expression is it, punishing Israel? What are we children that you smack their fingers when they do not behave well? Those who threaten us will find us deaf to his threats. The nation of Israel existed 3700 years without a memorandum of understanding with the USA and will go on for another 3,700 years.
Part II:
After the Six Day War we were told to avoid building over the green line in Jerusalem. Golda chose to build in the Ramot neighborhood, Gilo, the French Hill, neighborhood, and today over 100,000 Israelis live in these neighborhoods. We passed it and we are alive. Possibly, if we capitulated to the international pressure we would have not be here.
Also today I hear about suggestions to install cameras in the Jordan Valley, sensors, drones, international forces, they will defend and protect our country!?
So I have an idea, if the sensors and drones know how to protect and defend us, let us create a pilot. Bring these sensors and drones to dismantle Gaza, or position them on the Lebanon border and dismantle the 100,000 missiles that threaten our homes in Haifa, Naharyia and Tel Aviv. Before you do the next experiment, let us go back the previous experiment.
There those who like to challenge and they ask do we have leadership today that know how to make difficult decisions. The expression “difficult decisions”…time to define what a difficult decision is what a easy decision is. Easy decision was to do the disengagement; to throw 8,000 citizens from their homes. To receive applause from the entire world and missiles on Rishon Letzion. A difficult decision was to stand firm against pressure. To conduct tough negotiations; to understand that even the other side has much to lose.
Easy decision was to sign the Oslo Accord. You receive Noble Prize, you become the beloved of the nations, and then you go to console the murdered families in Dizengoff. Difficult decision was to apply Israeli sovereignty on Jerusalem and the Golan as the governments of Israel did since 1967.
Easy decision is to think through the short term, and leave for our children with destruction in the long term. Difficult decision is to understand that despite all the brokers running around here we are the real brokers between the previous and the future generations. That we are today responsible for our great-great grandchildren and not only us. Not only the here and now, the ‘nownism’. And I state here clearly, the Jewish history and the Jewish designation are stronger from the newspaper headlines of tomorrow. They do not allow us to take the easy decisions.
Let us end playing with words. ‘67 lines means division of Jerusalem, giving up Olive Mount, where Menachem Begin, Rabbi Cook and Eliezer Ben-Yehuda are buried.  It means giving up the Western Wall and Temple Mount and the old part of the city. How will history remember a leader who will agree to give up Jerusalem? How will you remember the first Jewish leader in Jewish history who dared doing this, and from his own free will? After all every Jews in the world prays for and to return to Jerusalem. Is such surrender is worth a temporary sympathy of the world? Is it worth more attacks and terror to which we will arrive weaker?
So here are the difficult decision that really need leadership. We will never agree to give up on a united Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty and only Israeli!
We will not accept a terrorist Palestinian state, we will not accept an agreement based on ’67 lines. We will not beg for territorial exchanges or that the border will pass on highway 6 so that missiles will be fired on highway 4. We will not sit in a government that because of international pressure will endanger the future of our children and will divide our capital. We will not sit in a government that will accept the easy but dangerous decisions.
They ask, so what is your solution? We have other solutions. More than one. I suggested that Israel will apply Israeli law on the Israeli C territory in Judea and Samaria, and the Palestinians will have full autonomy in A and B territory [I disagree on this one-NG]. Is this perfect? Not at all. There are many problems with each of the plans, none offer a perfect possibility between alternatives.
We must concentrate on the land. Create robust economy for Israelis and Palestinians on the ground; peace begins from the ground. I suggest you take your car and go see what is really happening on the ground. What is happening between the Israelis and the Palestinians, the economic growth; there is no great love in the air. I will not present to you they dance kumbaya on the hills, but there is acceptance, understanding that no one is going to evaporate. We understand that they live here, there is no intention to expel. But only the people who live on the ground have in their power to make peace on the ground.
We are a sovereign and democratic country. There are no other democracies in our region. There is a meaning to what the people want no less than what our allies pressure us to do. Remember, in the last election only one party carried the Palestinian state slogan and received 5% of the votes. Do not get confused here. We will represent the nation, we will not run away from responsibility and difficult decisions. This is our homeland. And if it is too old, outdated, I am proud to lead the camp of the outdated. The people voted for us to reduce the cost of living, to preserve the values of the state of Israel, not to mortgage our lives with Abu-Mazen-Abbas. The world scorns a state that is not able to defend her citizens; the world respects a country that insists on her values. And if we speak clear, the world will listen to us. And if our allies are pushing us to commit suicide, even if it comes from good intention, we will say NO! We did not come here to become the world’s experimental laboratory. There were already great leaders in Israel who know how to say NO! And we remained alive and we thrived. We need to make decision about us by ourselves for the simple reason that only we will pay the price for our decisions. And those who pressure us today will get killed here tomorrow?
Friends, there are moments in the life of a nation and in the life of its leaders that take difficult and brave decisions and say up to here! We will be on the side of those who can say, up to here.
For Zion's sake I will not keep silent, for Jerusalem's sake I will not remain quiet.~ Isaiah 62:1
למען ציון לא אחשה ולמען ירושלים לא אשקוט

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