The Israeli governemnt launched a full court press for blurb control today before meeting with President Obama in Washington DC. Ehud Barak, in DC for the GA2009, said that Israel is doing all it can to restart peace talks. At the same time, speaking before the General Assembly 2009, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for an immediate restart of peace talks with the Palestine Authority.
Netanyahu, who was interrupted for just a moment by a woman with a cloth sign who shouted about Gaza, quipped that he got a better reception at the United Nations than he did at the GA. Later in his speech, he said that his government was eager to achieve peace with Israel’s neighbors and had a sense of urgency. He called for a permanent agreement with the Palestinians without any preconditions. He called on Mahmoud Abbas to stop trying to negotiate how to negotiate, and said, “Let’s move. Let’s get on it… let us begin talks immediately,â€
With regard to settlements in the West Bank of the Jordan, Netanyahu said that no previous Israeli government has been as willing as his “to restrain settlement activity as part of an effort to relaunch peace talks.” The Prime Minister also praised the U.S. and Canadian goverments for their support, the U.S. armed forces for the 1400 American soldiers that participated in joint exercises recently with Israel, and he criticized the U.N. report on Gaza which should be “firmly rejected.”