WASHINGTON – Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met with US President Barack Obama in the Oval Office on Monday, pushing back against pressure from the White House to swiftly cut a deal with the Palestinians as the president warned time was running out for peace.
“Israel has been doing its part, and I regret to say that the Palestinians haven’t,” Netanyahu said to Obama, in front of the press. “The people of Israel know that it’s the case.”
“What we want is peace – not a piece of paper,” he said.
Netanyahu called for a “real peace… based on mutual recognition,” and chided his Palestinian counterparts for promoting “incessant violence” against the Jewish state.
“Israel, the Jewish state, is the realization of the Jewish people’s right to self-determination,” Netanyahu said. “I think it’s about time they recognized a nation state for the Jewish people.
We’ve only been here for about 4,000 years.”
Netanyahu is the first Israeli prime minister to formally call on the Palestinians to recognize Israel as the Jewish homeland – what he has called the “minimal requirement” for peace.
“The only peace that will endure is a peace that we can defend,” he added….