PM Netanyahu: Peace only possible if Palestinians recognize the Jewish people’s right for a state in Israel

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who visited the United Kingdom to celebrate the centennial of the Balfour Declaration that laid the groundwork for the establishment of the Jewish state, emphasized that Israel has become a strategic partner of regional Arab states which are concerned of the most dangerous threat to regional stability, the Islamic Republic of Iran. In a meeting with his British counterpart Theresa May, Prime Minister Netanyahu stressed he would not work to cancel the nuclear deal that was reached between world powers and the Islamic Republic of Iran, but rather seek to fix the flawed agreement.

Following their meeting, the Israeli leader attended a banquet, hosted by the descendants of Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour and the recipient of his declaration, Jewish community leader Walter Rothschild, in the gilded halls of Lancaster House mansion. In an address to the guests of the banquet, Netanyahu declared that the time has come for the Palestinians to embrace the reality, in which the Jewish people have the right for a nation state of their own in the land of Israel, emphasizing that only through the recognition of the Jewish state, peace and prosperity can be realized. Prime Minister Netanyahu said, “It’s time that the Palestinians will embrace this approach too. And if they do, they will find in Israel and in me an enthusiastic partner for building a peaceful and prosperous future for both our peoples. It’s within our reach. I think it’s getting closer,” the Israeli leader asserted.

The Palestinian leadership, nevertheless, rejected Netanyahu’s demand for recognition of the Jewish right to the land of Israel, condemning the Balfour Declaration as a “tragedy.” In a formal demand sent to the British government, the Palestinian leadership said it expects Britain to apologize for promising 100 years ago to hand over land that it did not own to the Jewish people, a demand British Prime Minister Theresa May has stressed was “absolutely absurd.” The British Premier said, “So when some people suggest we should apologize for this letter. I say, absolutely not. We are proud of our pioneering role in the creation of the state of Israel. We are proud to stand here today, together with Prime Minister Netanyahu, and declare our support for Israel. And we are proud of the relationship we have built with Israel.  And we are proud of the relationship we have built with Israel. And  as we mark 100 years since Balfour, we look forward to taking that relationship even further,” she declared.