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Public Statements

Reaffirming Commitment to Negotiated Settlement of Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. CANTOR. I thank the gentlelady, the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, and I thank the leadership of the gentleman from California as well in support of this resolution.

Madam Speaker, we call today on Hamas and the Palestinian Authority to renounce the path they have set in planning to announce statehood in the upcoming United Nations session. By threatening to sidestep the principles of the Oslo Accords, the Palestinian Authority is beginning to dismantle the framework of future peace process agreements.

We have seen the death and destruction that Hamas perpetrated against both Israeli civilians and the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip, yet Hamas refuses to accept responsibility for its actions or rein in terrorists called to strike at the heart of the Israeli people.

Today, we ask and call upon the Palestinian Authority to return to the negotiating table and join the Israelis in direct discussions to end this conflict. Furthermore, we call on the leadership of the Palestinian Authority to renounce the violence Hamas condones and teaches to its followers.

This resolution, Madam Speaker, directs the Palestinian Authority to be responsible actors on the world stage and to return to negotiations. For far too long, the Palestinian Authority has not acted on behalf of its people. Corruption has caused many to discredit its legitimacy. The people of the region deserve an honest broker that accepts and respects the state of Israel.

Israel has stood by America in its fights against extremist ideology. Madam Speaker, we stand by Israel as our most valued ally in a region in need of more who respect freedom of speech and the free assembly of people, a region that, frankly, must follow the example set by Israel in its work in promotion of human progress.

It is time for the Palestinian Authority to accept a peaceful solution to this conflict and teach their children that violence is never the answer to their problems. The Palestinian Authority must understand that peace is only achievable when they are willing to recognize the legitimacy of Israel to exist as a Jewish state. And they must understand that the solution to this conflict will only come through direct negotiations with the Israelis, and not by circumventing the peace process through international parliamentary gimmickry.


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