"0nly Israel can determine its security needs"
US-Präsident gibt dem israelischen Ministerpräsidenten Netanjahu freie Hand in der Definition seiner Sicherheitsinteressen. Die Pressekonferenz im Weißen Haus im Wortlaut
Der Besuch des israelischen Ministerpräsidenten Benjamin Netanjahu in Washington am 6. Juli 2010 verlief enttäuschend. US-Präsident Obama entsprach - so schien es - in allen Punkten den Wünschen und politischen Vorgaben des Hardliners aus Tel Aviv (siehe: "Nicht der geringste Zweifel"
). Weder wurde an dessen genereller Siedlungspolitik noch an der Behandlung des Gaza-Streifens oder des Angriffs auf die Gaza-Hilfsflotte laut. Keine Ermahnung zur Mäßigung im Umgang mit den Palästinensern. Statt dessen eine fast bedingungslose Unterwerfung unter die von den israelischen Falken vorgegebenen Sicherheitsinteressen ("only Israel can determine its security needs"). Die Botschaft lautet vielmehr: Da Netanjahu alles richtig gemacht hat, liegt es nun an den Palästinensern und dessen Präsident Abbas (die Palästinenser im Gaza-Streifen und deren Regierung zählen nicht), die ausgetreckte Friedenshand Netanjahus zu ergreifen und ohne Vorbedingungen in Verhandlungen einzutreten.
Entsprechend euphorisch war denn auch der Triumph in Israel über den erfolgreichen Staatsbesuch. Die Washington Post bemerkte: "Netanyahu celebrated victory". Das israelische Außenministerium schwelgte in den höchsten Tönen und die Botschaft in Berlin verbreitete die entsprechende Meldung in Deutsch. Keine Notiz nahm dagegen die Botschaft von dem Gespräch, das Netanjahu am selben Tag mit dem UN-Generalsekretär geführt hat. Hier wurden nicht nur Höflichkeiten ausgetauscht, sondern Ban Ki-moon äußerte offen seine Kritik an der Gaza-Blockade (siehe: Netanjahus "Wunder"
Im Folgenden dokumentieren wir
die Verlautbarung des israelischen Außenministeriums,
die Pressemeldung des Weißen Hauses (englisch) und
die Niederschrift des Pressekonferenz mit Obama und Netanjahu (englisch).
Dokumentiert: Offizielle Verlautbarung aus Israel
Netanyahu bei Obama *
Israels Ministerpräsident Binyamin Netanyahu hat sich am Dienstag (6. Juli) im Weißen Haus mit US-Präsident Barack Obama getroffen. Der Friedensprozess zwischen Israel und den Palästinensern und die iranische Bedrohung standen im Mittelpunkt ihres Vieraugengesprächs. Im Anschluss gaben die beiden Regierungschefs eine gemeinsame Pressekonferenz.
Obama bekräftigte eingangs das enge Verhältnis zwischen Israel und den USA und lobte die aktuelle Politik der Regierung Netanyahu gegenüber den Palästinensern:
"Das Band zwischen den Vereinigten Staaten und Israel ist unzerreißbar. Es umfasst unsere nationalen Sicherheitsinteressen, unsere strategischen Interessen, aber am wichtigsten ist das Band von zwei Demokratien, die eine Reihe von gemeinsamen Werten teilen und deren Menschen sich mit der Zeit immer näher gekommen sind.
Während unserer Diskussionen bei unserem privaten Treffen haben wir eine lange Reihe von Themen abgedeckt. Wir besprachen die Frage Gazas. Und ich lobte Ministerpräsident Netanyahu für den Fortschritt, der mit der Einfuhrerlaubnis für mehr Güter nach Gaza gemacht worden ist. Wir sehen einen wirklichen Fortschritt vor Ort. Ich denke, man hat anerkannt, dass das schneller und effektiver vonstatten gegangen ist, als viele Leute gedacht hätten.
Offenkundig gibt es da noch Spannungen und Fragen, die gelöst werden müssen, aber unsere beiden Staaten arbeiten gemeinsam daran, mit diesen Fragen umzugehen. Auch das Quartett war dabei, denke ich, sehr hilfreich. Und wir glauben, dass es einen Weg gibt, sicherzustellen, dass die Bevölkerung Gazas wirtschaftlich gedeihen kann, während Israel seine legitimen Sicherheitsinteressen wahren kann, indem es keine Raketen und Waffen für die Hamas hineinlässt."
"Wir hatten eine eingehende Diskussion über die Aussichten für den Frieden im Nahen Osten. Ich glaube, Ministerpräsident Netanyahu will Frieden. Ich denke, er ist bereit, Risiken für den Frieden auf sich zu nehmen. Und während unserer Diskussion hat er abermals seine Bereitschaft bekräftigt, in ernsthafte Verhandlungen mit den Palästinensern einzutreten über das, was nicht nur das Ziel der beiden Beteiligten, sondern der ganzen Welt sein sollte - zwei Staaten, die Seite an Seite in Frieden und Sicherheit leben."
"So möchte ich noch einmal betonten, dass ich finde, dass unsere Diskussion ausgezeichnet war. Wir haben das vergangene Jahr über erlebt, wie unser Verhältnis sich ausgeweitet hat; manchmal wird das nicht publiziert, aber in einer ganzen Reihe von Fragen - wirtschaftliche, militärische, Fragen den Erhalt des qualitativen militärischen Vorsprungs Israels betreffend, das Teilen von Geheimdienstinformationen, wie wir effektiv an der internationalen Front zusammenarbeiten können - verbessert sich unser Verhältnis in der Tat weiter. Und ich denke, eine Menge davon hat mit der ausgezeichneten Arbeit zu tun, die der Ministerpräsident geleistet hat".
Netanyahu schloss sich seinem Gastgeber in der positiven Bewertung des Zustands der israelisch-amerikanischen Beziehungen an und bemerkte zur Frage des Friedensprozesses mit den Palästinensern u. a.:
"Ich denke, es gibt Lösungen, die wir uns zu Eigen machen können. Aber um zu diesen Lösungen zu gelangen, müssen wir mit Verhandlungen beginnen, um sie zu Ende zu führen. Wir haben Annäherungsgespräche aufgenommen. Ich denke, es ist Zeit, mit direkten Gesprächen zu beginnen. Ich denke, Präsident Abbas und ich sollten mit der Hilfe von Präsident Obama in direkte Verhandlungen eintreten, um ein politisches Friedensabkommen zu erreichen, das Sicherheit und Wohlstand mit einbezieht. Dafür muss die Palästinensische Autonomiebehörde ihr Volk auf Frieden vorbereiten, in Schulen, Schulbüchern usw.
Aber ich denke, am Ende ist Frieden die beste Option für uns alle, und ich denke wir haben eine einmalige Gelegenheit dazu, ihn zu schaffen. Der Präsident sagte, es sei seine Angewohnheit, all die Zyniker und Bedenkenträger und all die, die Möglichkeiten ausschließen, zu verblüffen. Und er hat es ein ums andere mal gezeigt. Ich denke, ich hatte selbst die Gelegenheit, einige Zyniker zu verblüffen. Und ich denke, wenn wir mit Präsident Abbas zusammenarbeiten, können wir unseren Völkern, der Region und dem Rest der Welt eine große Botschaft der Hoffnung übermitteln."
** Außenministerium des Staates Israel, 06.07.10; aus dem Newsletter der Israelischen Botschaft in Berlin, 9. Juli 2010
Offizielle Stellungnahme aus dem Weißen Haus
The White House, Office of the Press Secretary
July 06, 2010
Readout of the President's Meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel
President Obama hosted Prime Minister Netanyahu on his fourth visit to the White House today, and they had a very constructive discussion. The President and the Prime Minister reaffirmed the strong, unbreakable bonds that characterize the special relationship between the United States and Israel.
The President and the Prime Minister reviewed the progress made so far in Israeli-Palestinian proximity talks, and discussed ways to advance to direct talks, in order to reach an agreement that ends the conflict with a secure Jewish state of Israel living side by side in peace and security with an independent and viable Palestinian state. They agreed that the ultimate goal is a comprehensive Middle East peace between Israel and all its neighbors, including the Palestinians, Syria, and Lebanon, and normalized relations with all Arab states.
The President welcomed the Prime Minister's efforts to implement Israel's new policy on Gaza, including liberalizing and increasing the volume of goods flowing through the land crossings, publishing a limited list of goods prohibited from entering Gaza, and accelerating the approval of international projects. They explored additional steps that can be taken in coordination with the Palestinian Authority and international partners to improve life for the people of Gaza, and discussed how to prevent the flow of weapons to Hamas and secure the release of Gilad Shalit. The President reiterated U.S. policy toward Hamas, emphasizing that Hamas must put an end to violence, recognize past agreements, and recognize Israel's right to exist if it is to play any constructive role in achieving Middle East peace.
In light of the threat posed to both our nations and to regional stability by Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons, the President and the Prime Minister reiterated their strong support for the adoption of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1929 and the additional national measures that have been taken since its adoption, and discussed the need to build upon that strong foundation as we continue to strengthen the international coalition dedicated to preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
The President reaffirmed the United States' unshakeable commitment to Israel's security, and the leaders reviewed the significant progress made in recent months to expand coordination between our militaries, to preserve and strengthen Israel's qualitative military edge, and to fortify Israel's ballistic missile defenses, including through additional U.S. financial support for Iron Dome. The President told the Prime Minister he recognizes that Israel must always have the ability to defend itself, by itself, against any threat or possible combination of threats, and that only Israel can determine its security needs. The President pledged to continue U.S. efforts to combat all international attempts to challenge the legitimacy of the State of Israel.
The President and the Prime Minister discussed the global challenge of nuclear proliferation and the need to strengthen the nonproliferation system. They also exchanged views on the regional conference to discuss a Middle East zone free of weapons of mass destruction and systems for their delivery referenced in the 2010 NPT Review Conference final document. The President informed the Prime Minister that, as a cosponsor charged with enabling the proposed conference, the United States will insist that such a conference will be for discussion aimed at an exchange of views on a broad agenda, to include regional security issues, verification and compliance, and all categories of weapons of mass destruction and systems for their delivery. The President emphasized that the conference will only take place if all countries feel confident that they can attend, and that any efforts to single out Israel will make the prospects of convening such a conference unlikely. In this regard, the two leaders also agreed to work together to oppose efforts to single out Israel at the IAEA General Conference in September. The President emphasized that the United States will continue its long standing practice to work closely with Israel to ensure that arms control initiatives and policies do not detract from Israel's security, and support our common efforts to strengthen international peace and stability.
The President and the Prime Minister expressed satisfaction with a number of joint U.S.-Israeli initiatives in the areas of science and technology, renewable energy, and agricultural development, and agreed to continue and look to expand such efforts.
Source: The White House, Office of the Press Secretary; July 06, 2010; www.whitehouse.gov
Remarks by PM Netanyahu and US President Obama
6 Jul 2010
I just completed an excellent one-on-one discussion with Prime Minister Netanyahu, and I want to welcome him back to the White House. I want to first of all thank him for the wonderful statement that he made in honor of the 4th of July, our Independence Day, when he was still in Israel.
It marked just one more chapter in the extraordinary friendship between our two countries. As Prime Minister Netanyahu indicated in his speech, the bond between the United States and Israel is unbreakable. It encompasses our national security interests, our strategic interests, but most importantly the bond of two democracies who share a common set of values and whose people have grown closer and closer as time goes on.
During our discussions in our private meeting, we covered a wide range of issues. We discussed the issue of Gaza. And I commended Prime Minister Netanyahu on the progress that's been made in allowing more goods into Gaza. We've seen real progress on the ground. I think it's been acknowledged that it has moved more quickly and more effectively than many people anticipated.
Obviously, there are still tensions and issues there that have to be resolved, but our two countries are working cooperatively together to deal with these issues. The Quartet has been, I think, very helpful as well. And we believe that there is a way to make sure that the people of Gaza are able to prosper economically while Israel is able to maintain its legitimate security needs in not allowing missiles and weapons to get to Hamas.
We discussed the issue of Iran. And we pointed out that as a consequence of some hard work internationally, we have instituted, through the U.N. Security Council, the toughest sanctions ever directed at an Iranian government.
In addition, last week, I signed our own set of sanctions coming out of the United States Congress - as robust as any that we've ever seen. Other countries are following suit. And so we intend to continue to put pressure on Iran to meet its international obligations and to cease the kinds of provocative behavior that has made it a threat to its neighbors and the international community.
We had an extensive discussion about the prospects for Middle East peace. I believe that Prime Minister Netanyahu wants peace. I think he's willing to take risks for peace. And during our conversation, he once again reaffirmed his willingness to engage in serious negotiations with the Palestinians around what I think should be the goal not just of the two principals involved, but the entire world; and that is two states living side-by-side in peace and security.
Israel's security needs met, the Palestinians having a sovereign state that they call their own: those are goals that have obviously escaped our grasp for decades now. But now more than ever I think is the time for us to seize on that vision. And I think that Prime Minister Netanyahu is prepared to do so.
It's going to be difficult. It's going to be hard work. But we've seen already proximity talks taking place. My envoy, George Mitchell, has helped to organize five of them so far. We expect those proximity talks to lead to direct talks. And I believe that the government of Israel is prepared to engage in such direct talks. And I commend the prime minister for that.
There are going to need to be a whole set of confidence-building measures, to make sure that people are serious and that we're sending a signal to the region that this isn't just more talk and more process without action.
I think it is also important to recognize that the Arab states have to be supportive of peace, because although ultimately this is going to be determined by the Israeli and Palestinian peoples, they can't succeed unless you have the surrounding states having a greater investment in the process than we've seen so far.
Finally we discussed issues that arose out of the nuclear nonproliferation conference. And I reiterated to the prime minister that there is no change in U.S. policy when it comes to these issues. We strongly believe that given its size, its history, the region that it's in, and the threats that are leveled against it that Israel has unique security requirements. It's got to be able to respond to threats or any combination of threats in the region. And that's why we remain unwavering in our commitment to Israel's security. And the United States will never ask Israel to take any steps that would undermine their security interests.
So I just want to say once again that I thought the discussion that we had was excellent. We've seen over the last year how our relationship has broadened; sometimes it doesn't get publicized but on a whole range of issues - economic, military-to-military, issues related to Israel maintaining its qualitative military edge, intelligence sharing, how we are able to work together effectively on the international front - that in fact, our relationship is continuing to improve.
And I think a lot of that has to do with the excellent work that the prime minister has done, so I'm grateful. And welcome, once again, to the White House. Thank you.
Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you. Thank you.
The President and I had an extensive, excellent discussion in which we discussed a broad range of issues. These include of course our own cooperation in the fields of intelligence and security. And exactly as the President said, it is extensive. Not everything is seen by the public. But it is seen and appreciated by us. We understand fully that we will work together in the coming months and years to protect our common interests, our countries, our peoples against new threats and at the same time we want to explore the possibilities of peace.
The greatest new threat on the horizon and the single most dominant issue for many of us is the prospect that Iran would acquire nuclear weapons. Iran is brutally terrorizing its people, spreading terrorism far and wide. And I very much appreciate the President's statement that he is determined to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. That has been translated by the President into his leadership at the Security Council, which passed sanctions against Iran; by the U.S. bill that the President signed just a few days ago. And I urge other leaders to follow the President's lead and other countries to follow the U.S. lead, to adopt much tougher sanctions against Iran, primarily those directed against its energy sector.
As the President said, we discussed a great deal about activating - moving forward - the quest for peace between Israel and the Palestinians. We're committed to that peace. I'm committed to that peace. And this peace I think will better the lives of Israelis, of Palestinians; and certainly would change our region.
Israelis are prepared to do a lot to get that peace in place, but they want to make sure that after all the steps they take, that what we get is a secure peace. We don't want a repeat of the situation where we vacate territories and those are overtaken by Iran's proxies and used as launching ground for terrorist attacks or rocket attacks.
I think there are solutions that we can adopt. But in order to proceed to the solutions, we need to begin negotiations in order to end them. We've begun proximity talks. I think it's high time to begin direct talks. I think with the help of President Obama, President Abbas and myself should engage in direct talks to reach a political settlement of peace, coupled with security and prosperity. This requires that the Palestinian Authority prepare its people for peace in schools, textbooks and so on.
But I think at the end of the day peace is the best option for all of us, and I think we have a unique opportunity and a unique time to do it. The President says that he has a habit of confounding all the cynics and all the naysayers and all those who preclude possibilities. And he's shown it time and time again. I think I've had my opportunity to confound some cynics myself. And I think if we work together with President Abbas, then we can bring a great message of hope to our peoples, to the region and to the world.
One final point. Mr. President, I want to thank you for reaffirming to me in private and now in public, as you did, the long- standing U.S. commitments to Israel on matters of vital strategic importance. I want to thank you too for the great hospitality you and the first lady have shown Sarah and me and our entire delegation.
And I think we have to redress the balance. You know, I've been coming here a lot. It's about time you -
- and the first lady came to Israel.
We look forward to it.
So (anytime ?).
Thank you very much.
Thank you. Good.
Q: Thank you, Mr. President. As far as the steps which need to be taken to move possibly - (off mike) - direct talks, do you think it will be helpful for Israel to extend the - (off mike) - settlement moratoriums set to expire in September? And if I could briefly ask the prime minister, with regards to the sanctions measures, do you think that these measures will contain or halt Iran's nuclear program - (off mike)?
Well, let me first of all say that I think the Israeli government, working through layers of various governmental entities and jurisdictions, have shown restraint, over the last several months, that I think has been conducive to the prospects of us getting into direct talks.
And my hope is, is that once direct talks have begun, well before the moratorium has expired, that that will create a climate in which everybody feels a greater investment and success, not every action, by one party or the other, is taken as a reason for not engaging in talks, so there ends up being more room created by more trust. And so, you know, I want to just make sure that we sustain that over the next several weeks.
I do think that there are a range of confidence-building measures that can be taken by all sides, that improve the prospects of a successful negotiation. And I've discussed some of those privately with the prime minister. When President Abbas was here, I discussed some of those same issues with him.
I think it's very important that the Palestinians not look for excuses for incitement, that they are not engaging in provocative language; that at the international level, they are maintaining a constructive tone as opposed to looking for opportunities to embarrass Israel.
At the same time, I've said to Prime Minister Netanyahu - I don't think he minds me sharing it publicly - that, you know, Abu Mazen working with Fayyad have done some very significant things, when it comes to the security front. And so us being able to widen the scope of their responsibilities, in the West Bank, is something that I think would be very meaningful to the Palestinian people.
I think that some of the steps that have already been taken in Gaza help to build confidence. And if we continue to make progress on that front, then Palestinians can see in very concrete terms what peace can bring that rhetoric and violence cannot bring.
And that is people actually having an opportunity to raise their children and make a living and, you know, buy and sell goods and build a life for themselves, which is ultimately what people in both Israel and the Palestinian territories want, so.
I think the latest sanctions adopted by the U.N. create illegitimacy or create delegitimization for Iran's nuclear program. And that is important. I think the sanctions the President signed the other day actually have teeth. They bite. The question is, how much do you need to bite, is something I cannot answer now. But if other nations adopted similar sanctions, that would increase the effect.
The more like-mined countries join in the American-led effort that President Obama has signed into act - into law, I think, the better we'll be able to give you an answer to your question.
Q: Mr. President, in the past year, you distanced yourself from Israel and gave a cold shoulder to the prime minister. Do you think this policy was a mistake? Do you think it contributes to the bashing of Israel by others? And because of the changes now, do you trust Prime Minister Netanyahu?
And if I may, Mr. Prime Minister, specifically, did you discuss with the President a continuing of the building of settlements after September? And did you tell him that you're going to keep on building after this period is over?
Well, let me, first of all, say that the premise to your question was wrong, and I entirely disagree with it. If you look at every public statement that I've made over the last year and a half, it has been a constant reaffirmation of the special relationship between the United States and Israel; that our commitment to Israel's security has been unwavering. And in fact, there aren't any concrete policies that you could point to that would contradict that.
And in terms of my relationship with Prime Minister Netanyahu, I know the press, both in Israel and Stateside, enjoys, you know, seeing if there's news there. But the fact of the matter is, is that I've trusted Prime Minister Netanyahu since I met him before I was elected President, and have said so both publicly and privately. I think that he is dealing with a very complex situation in a very tough neighborhood.
And you know, what I have consistently shared with him is my interest in working with him, not at cross-purposes, so that we can achieve the kind of peace that will ensure Israel's security for decades to come.
And that's going to mean some tough choices, and there are going to be times where, you know, he and I are having robust discussions about what kind of choices need to be made. But the underlying approach never changes, and that is, the United States is committed to Israel's security, we are committed to that special bond, and we are going to do what's required to back that up, not just with words but with actions.
We are going to continually work with the prime minister and the entire Israeli government, as well as the Israeli people, so that we can achieve what I think has to be everybody's goal, which is that people feel secure. They don't feel like a rocket's going to be landing on their head sometime. They don't feel as if there's a growing population that wants to direct violence against Israel. That requires work, and that requires some difficult choices and both at the strategic level and the tactical level. And this is something that the prime minister understands and why I think that we're going to be able to work together not just over the next few months but hopefully over the next several years.
The President and I discussed concrete steps that could be done now, with the coming days and the coming weeks, to move the peace process further along in a very robust way. This is what we focused our conversation on. And when I say the next few weeks, that's what I mean, and the President means that too.
Let me make a general observation about the question you forwarded to the President - and here I'll have to paraphrase Mark Twain - that the reports about the demise of the special U.S.-Israel relationship aren't just premature: They're just flat wrong.
There is a depth and richness of this relationship that is expressed every day our teams talk. We don't make it public. The only thing that's public is that you can have differences, on occasion, in the best of families and the closest of families. That comes out public, and sometimes in a twisted way, too.
What is (natural ?) is the fact that we have an enduring bond of values, interests, beginning with security and the way that we share both information and other things to help the common defense of our common interests and many others in the region who don't often admit to the beneficial effect of this cooperation.
So I think there's a - the President said it best in his speech in Cairo. In front of the entire Islamic world, he said: The bond between Israel and the United States is unbreakable. And I can affirm that to you today.
Thank you very much, everybody.
Source: Website of the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs; ; http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Government/Speeches+by+Israeli+leaders/2010/Remarks_PM_Netanyahu_US_President_Obama_6-Jul-2010.htm
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