Statement by PM Netanyahu at the Start of his Meeting with Secretary-General of the United Nations Mr. Ban Ki-moon
     
 
 
Briefing Room
 
16/08/2013 
יום שישי י' אלול תשע"ג
Photo by GPO 
PM Netanyahu:   Mr. Secretary, welcome to Jerusalem.  It’s always a pleasure to see you and to discuss the issues of our time with you, the Secretary-General of the United Nations.  I know, like me, you want to see the peace process which has been resumed, succeed.  I know that like me you know that the most important thing is to prepare our respective peoples for peace and in this regard, I’m sure you are going to look into the abuse of UNRWA camps in Gaza that have been used purportedly for peace camps, but actually to instill the culture of hatred and the ideas of destroying Israel amidst Palestinian children.  It’s very hard to habituate and prepare the next generation for peace when they’re told that Jews are the descendents of pigs and monkeys and that the Jewish State has no right to exist, so I trust that you will make sure that these abuses of U.N. goals and U.N. funds does not continue.  I look forward to discuss with you the urgent issues of the day that plague our region:  first and foremost Iran’s continual quest to achieve nuclear weapons and of course the unfolding situation in Syria and elsewhere in our region.  I think it’s important to discuss the real problems and not those that are often discussed in the media.  It wasn’t until long ago that people said that the root cause of the instability in the Middle East was the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  And now, you can’t say that with a straight face because from the Atlantic Ocean to the Khyber Pass, you can see this endemic instability that is plaguing so much of the Arab and Muslim world.  We, of course would like to see it, not only restore stability, but also restore peace and move towards prosperity and equitable relations among nations, including with our nation, but I think today everybody understands that the root cause of the instability in the Middle East and beyond has to do with the convulsion that is historic and cultural in nature of which the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is merely one of many, many such manifestations.  As far as the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, we have to get to the root cause of the problem and the root cause was and remains the persistent refusal to recognize the Jewish State in any boundary.   It doesn’t have to do with the settlements – that’s an issue that has to be resolved, but this is not the reason that we have a continual conflict.  The conflict preceded the establishment of a single settlement by half a century and when we rooted out all the settlements in Gaza, the attacks continued because of this basic opposition to the Jewish State.  I think it’s important to understand that if we build a few hundred apartments in Gilo or Ramot, or the other Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem, or in urban blocks that everybody knows, including the Palestinian negotiating team, according to the Aljazeera leaks, will be part of the final peace map in Israel, I think these are not the real issues that we need to discuss.  The real issue is how to get a demilitarized Palestinian state to finally recognize and accept the one and only Jewish State.  These and other matters of course will I’m sure inform our discussions.  There are a few other things that I prefer to discuss with you privately, but I do look forward to discussing with you all these and other issues and

I welcome you once again, Mr. Secretary, to Jerusalem.