"Thank you very much Prime Minister Nečas, Petr, for the warm welcome you
have given me and my delegation here in Prague. It's good to be back here again,
to follow up on our bilateral relations, which are improving rapidly, and our
friendship that has grown stronger by the day.
But my real purpose in coming here is to say on behalf of the people of
Israel to you and your government and your countrymen and women, to say thank
you. Thank you for your country's opposition to the one-sided resolution at the United Nations; thank you for your
friendship; thank you for your courage. I know that in voting against the
one-sided resolution, the Czech Republic stood with the United States and Canada
and a handful of other countries against the prevailing international current.
But history has shown us time and again that what is right is not what is
popular, and if there is a people in the world who can appreciate that, it's the
people of your country.
Seventy-four years ago, in 1938, in Munich, leading powers of the world
forced this proud democracy to sacrifice its vital interests. The international
community applauded almost uniformly without exception. They hailed this as
something that would bring peace, peace in our time they said. But rather than
bring peace, those forced concessions from Czechoslovakia paved the way to the
worst war in history.
I know that your country has learned the lessons of history. So has my
country, Israel. That is why Israel will not sacrifice its vital interests for
the sake of obtaining the world's applause. Israel is committed to a genuine
peace with our Palestinian neighbors - a genuine and durable peace. For peace to
endure, it must be a peace that we can defend. No other peace can survive in the
We remain committed, as you said, to a negotiated settlement between us and
our Palestinian neighbors. That solution is a two-state solution for two
peoples, a peace in which a demilitarized Palestinian state recognizes the one
and only Jewish State of Israel. Unfortunately, on Thursday, the Palestinians
asked the world to give them a state without providing Israel with peace and
security in return.
The UN resolution completely ignored Israel's security needs. It didn't
require the Palestinians to recognize the Jewish state. It didn't even call on
it to end the conflict with Israel. And this is why it was unacceptable to
Israel, and that is why, too, it has been unacceptable to all responsible
members of the international community. Our conflict with the Palestinians will
be resolved only through direct negotiations that address the needs of both
Israelis and Palestinians. It will not be resolved through one-sided resolutions
of the UN that ignore Israel's vital needs and undermine the basic foundation
Mr. Prime Minister, I'm proud to be here in Prague. I told you just now in
our Cabinet meeting that I saw, in my entry at the airport, a bust of Tomáš
Masaryk, the great leader of this country, of this nation, and I believe that
Tomáš Masaryk would have been very proud of the stand that your country took
last week at the United Nations. Thank you for standing up for the truth; thank
you for standing up for decency; and thank you for standing up for peace.