[Dr. Aaron Lerner - IMRA:
While the English translation of the announcement has PM Netanyahu saying
that the desire is to reach a peace agreement "that will protect Israel's
national security interests, foremost of which is security" (see below) the
original Hebrew message reads "that will protect Israel's national
interests, foremost of which is security."
The addition of the word "security" to "national interests" in the English
translation was an honest mistake, but is important to correct.
Israel's "national interests" go well beyond security.
Israel has a "national interest", for example, that for generations to
come, Jews will continue to be able to pray at ancient sites sacred to
Judaism in places such as Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Hebron. And this while
taking into account that historically, Moslems consider it blasphemy for
Jews to pray at these ancient sites that have been adopted by Islam, and
that no matter what "iron clad" guarantees of access one might put on
paper - should a foreign sovereign control these sites, there is,
realistically, no way to insure that those "iron clad" guarantees don't rust
out over time.
Put simply, if the IDF had a special gizmo that could satisfactorily protect
Israel's national security interests with Israel finding itself on the '67
lines - including the complete division of Jerusalem, Israel still would
have national interests to address on the other side of that line.]
PM Netanyahu welcomes the invitation of the United States to begin direct
negotiations without preconditions.
Prime Minister Netanyahu welcomes the invitation of the United States to
begin direct negotiations without preconditions.
The Prime Minister has been calling for direct negotiations for the past
year and a half. He was pleased with the American clarification that the
talks would be without preconditions.
The Prime Minister added that Israel wants to conduct serious and
"Reaching an agreement is a difficult challenge but is possible. We are
coming to the talks with a genuine desire to reach a peace agreement between
the two peoples that will protect Israel's national security interests,
foremost of which is security." [AL: Should read "national interests"]