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Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Statement by PM Netanyahu at his Meeting with Czech Republic Prime Minister Petr Necas

Statement by PM Netanyahu at his Meeting with Czech Republic Prime Minister
Petr Necas

"Thank you very much Prime Minister Necas, Petr, for the warm welcome you
have given me and my delegation here in Prague. It's good to be back here
again, to follow up on our bilateral relations, which are improving rapidly,
and our friendship that has grown stronger by the day.

But my real purpose in coming here is to say on behalf of the people of
Israel to you and your government and your countrymen and women, to say
thank you. Thank you for your country's opposition to the one-sided
resolution at the United Nations; thank you for your friendship; thank you
for your courage. I know that in voting against the one-sided resolution,
the Czech Republic stood with the United States and Canada and a handful of
other countries against the prevailing international current. But history
has shown us time and again that what is right is not what is popular, and
if there is a people in the world who can appreciate that, it's the people
of your country. Seventy-four years ago, in 1938, in Munich, leading powers
of the world forced this proud democracy to sacrifice its vital interests.
The international community applauded almost uniformly without exception.
They hailed this as something that would bring peace, peace in our time they
said. But rather than bring peace, those forced concessions from
Czechoslovakia paved the way to the worst war in history.

I know that your country has learned the lessons of history. So has my
country, Israel. That is why Israel will not sacrifice its vital interests
for the sake of obtaining the world's applause. Israel is committed to a
genuine peace with our Palestinian neighbors – a genuine and durable peace.
For peace to endure, it must be a peace that we can defend. No other peace
can survive in the Middle East. We remain committed, as you said, to a
negotiated settlement between us and our Palestinian neighbors. That
solution is a two-state solution for two peoples, a peace in which a
demilitarized Palestinian state recognizes the one and only Jewish State of
Israel. Unfortunately, on Thursday, the Palestinians asked the world to
give them a state without providing Israel with peace and security in
return.

The UN resolution completely ignored Israel's security needs. It didn't
require the Palestinians to recognize the Jewish state. It didn't even call
on it to end the conflict with Israel. And this is why it was unacceptable
to Israel, and that is why, too, it has been unacceptable to all responsible
members of the international community. Our conflict with the Palestinians
will be resolved only through direct negotiations that address the needs of
both Israelis and Palestinians. It will not be resolved through one-sided
resolutions of the UN that ignore Israel's vital needs and undermine the
basic foundation for peace.

Mr. Prime Minister, I'm proud to be here in Prague. I told you just now in
our Cabinet meeting that I saw, in my entry at the airport, a bust of Tomáš
Masaryk, the great leader of this country, of this nation, and I believe
that Tomáš Masaryk would have been very proud of the stand that your country
took last week at the United Nations. Thank you for standing up for the
truth; thank you for standing up for decency; and thank you for standing up
for peace. Thank you."

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