(Communicated by the Foreign Minister’s Bureau)
In his speech at the Memorial Day ceremony in Kiryat Gat today (Monday 5 May 2014), Minister of Foreign Affairs Avigdor Lieberman stated: "The Jewish people are a peace-seeking nation. Our hand always has been, and always will be, extended in peace to all our neighbors, as was declared and signed by our founding fathers in the Declaration of Independence.
Nothing has changed since then. We have proved this by our actions, by signing peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan within the framework of sincere and straightforward negotiations. The desire and aspiration to achieve peace with our neighbors remains intact.
Special efforts were made by successive Israeli governments who were willing to make concessions to attain this goal, but when there is no willingness on the other side this becomes a virtually impossible task.
Our commitment, as a government, is first and foremost to ensure the security of Israeli citizens. This commitment is absolute, and we will permit no compromises, despite Palestinian threats of a third intifada, or threats by Abu Mazen of dismantling the Palestinian Authority or other threats and intimidation attempts. A nation that has known the War of Independence, the Six Day War, the Yom Kippur War and has fought terror on a daily and even hourly basis, is not easily intimidated. To every threat and provocation by the Palestinians or their sponsors, namely Iran, we will know how to respond in an appropriate and painful manner.
We extend our hands in peace - but we will cut off every hand that threatens us."