Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu: Photo: France Israel.SEPTEMBER 18, 2011 12:06 PM
At the last weekly Cabinet meeting before his scheduled trip to meet with President Barak Obama and address the United Nations, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu characterized his General Assembly speech as “important … to represent both the State of Israel and the truth.”
He recalled the multiple offers to the Palestinian Authority to negotiate towards peace, while the PA remained “unwilling to come and negotiate”…re iterating that “peace will be achieved only through direct negotiations.”
“Their attempt to be accepted as a member of the UN will fail,” declared the PM, noting that the United States will veto the attempt in the Security Council, and noted that Israel was “coordinating our efforts with those of the US and with other important countries, in Europe and beyond.”
Netanyahu said “we are not foreigners in this country, that we have rights in this country that go ‘only’ 4,000 years.” He acknowledged the upheavals in the Middle East saying “we do not know what will happen from day to day and how things will go,” and stressed Israel’s continuing readiness to “return to the table in order to achieve peace and security both for us and our neighbors.”
In Geneva, announcement has been made of Israel’s enhanced status at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, where the Jewish State has gained Associate Membership, a preliminary step towards full membership. Israel has been an Observer at the CERN Council since 1991.
CERN Director General Rolf Heuer said “I am very pleased that CERN’s relationship with Israel is moving to a higher level.” The status change symbolizes the increasing recognition of the Israeli contributions, both scientific and technological to CERN over the years. “The Israeli scientific community is looking forward to the continuation of this joint venture,” said Eliezer Rabinovici, Professor and Director of the Institute for Advanced Study at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and Israel’s scientific observer to Council. He noted that “Israel has also supported Palestinian students at CERN, notably sending mixed Israeli-Palestinian contingents to CERN’s summer student program.”
The agreement, which must be ratified by the Knesset, was signed by H.E. Ambassador Aharon Leshno-Yaar. It “is testimony to Europe’s recognition of Israel’s scientific and technological capabilities, of the quality of its scientists,” says a Foreign Ministry Spokesperson.