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Israel's Olmert calls for peace talks in US Congress speech
Cat : Israel and Zionism
Date : 2006-05-25 12:15:43                      Reader : 303
All Arabs are semites , but US congress is not free in its decision. We feel pity for congress being manipulated by Israel Lobbies as AIPAC, Prokings Institute, Front Page Magazine, and new cons in White House.



Associated France Press (AFP) 25/5/2006

Israel’s Olmert calls for peace talks in US Congress speech


by Ron Bousso
WASHINGTON (AFP) - Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told a joint session of the US Congress that his country will impose a border with Palestinians unless the new Hamas government recognizes Israel and returns to peace talks.

"We will not wait forever," Olmert told members of the US Senate and House of Representatives at the end of his first official visit to Washington as prime minister.

"We will not give a terrorist regime a veto over progress, or allow it to take hope hostage," said Olmert, who spoke only hours after an Israeli raid on the West Bank administrative capital of Ramallah to capture an Islamic Jihad militant.

President George W. Bush on Tuesday gave qualified support to Olmert’s proposal to withdraw from a huge part of the West Bank, but retain key areas where there are Jewish settlements. Olmert told Congress he wanted to hold talks with Palestinians on the plan.

"I extend my hand in peace to Mahmud Abbas, elected president of the Palestinian Authority. On behalf of the state of Israel, we are willing to negotiate with a Palestinian Authority," he said.

"In a few years they could be living in a Palestinian state, side by side in peace and security with Israel," Olmert said.

But he reiterated Israel’s demand that the Hamas government recognize Israel’s right to exist and renounce violence as a precondition for any peace agreement.

"No one can make it happen for them if they refuse to make it happen for themselves," Olmert said of the prospects for negotiations.

The premier repeated Israel’s commitment to the US-sponsored roadmap to peace -- which calls for a negotiated settlement with the Palestinians -- but said there had to be a deadline.

"Our deepest wish is to build a better future for our regions, hand in hand with a Palestinian partner," he said. "But if they refuse, we will not give a terrorist regime a veto over progress, or allow it to take hope hostage."

"Should the Palestinians ignore our outstretched hand for peace, Israel will seek other alternatives to promote our future and the prospects of hope in the Middle East."

Olmert’s three-day visit to Washington was aimed at reaffirming Israel’s strong ties with its chief ally following Olmert’s election victory.

The support Bush offered to Olmert’s predecessor Ariel Sharon was vital for the success of Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip last year. Olmert knows he needs similar support for his West Bank plan.

"The next step is even more vital to our future and to the prospects of finally bringing peace to the Middle East. Success will only be possible with America as an active participant," he said.

After their White House summit on Tuesday, Bush called Olmert’s strategy a "bold" idea.

In his speech, which received no less than 18 standing ovations from the US lawmakers, Olmert sought to put Israel together with the United States in its efforts to confront terrorism.

"Our countries do not just share the experience and pain of terrorism. We share the commitment and resolve to confront the brutal terrorists."

He urged the United States and the international community to act to confront the Iranian nuclear programme, which he qualified as "an existential threat" for Israel.

"A nuclear Iran is an intolerable threat to the peace and security of the world," he said. "Our moment is now. History will judge our generation by the actions we take now," the premier said.

"If we don’t take Iran’s bellicose rhetoric seriously now, we will be forced to take its nuclear aggressions seriously later," he said.

"This challenge, which I believe is the test of our time, is one the West cannot afford to fail."

The United States and its allies accuse Iran of seeking to build a nuclear bomb while Iran insists its atomic program is peaceful.

Bush on Tuesday said that "in the event of any attack on Israel, the United States will come to Israel’s aid."

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