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Public Statements

Supporting a Negotiated Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. CANTOR. Mr. Speaker, having repeatedly refused to negotiate in good faith with Israel, the Palestinian Authority is now threatening to abrogate the Oslo Accords by unilaterally declaring its own state at the U.N. For all those Americans and citizens of the world who yearn for peace, prosperity and stability in the Middle East, I warn that nothing could be more detrimental to these hopes.

A unilaterally declared Palestinian state is a rejection of the very essence of the peace process. It is an unambiguous statement that the Palestinians refuse to honor their obligations in the interest of a lasting peace with Israel.

A real, genuine peace won't come out of thin air. It will come when the Palestinians teach their children that Israel has a right to exist as a Jewish State. And it will come when the PA inspires confidence that it has the capability and the will to provide security and safeguard peace with Israel on its own.

That day has not arrived, and it is reckless and harmful to U.S. national security interests to pretend otherwise. Should a state be recognized based on the now-untenable pre-1967 borders, Palestinian terrorists in the West Bank would have the same kind of free rein to shoot rockets, mortars and guns into Israel that they now have in Gaza. Only this time, all of Israel's main population centers will be in the crosshairs. This would lead to a permanent state of war as Israel is forced to defend itself.

Fortunately, the U.S. has the ability to veto any irresponsible Palestinian declaration of statehood at the U.N. By taking up this resolution, the House of Representatives is signaling its belief that the United States' veto authority should be used to preserve stability and prospects for peace in the Middle East.

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