Netanyahu Doesn't Back Down in Speech to Congress

Israeli PM gets very warm welcome on Capitol Hill
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 24, 2011 1:24 PM CDT

(Newser) – Benjamin Netanyahu got a warm welcome on Capitol Hill today, parading into a joint session of Congress with a gaggle of supportive lawmakers and earning applause after nearly every line. He emphasized the positive in US-Israeli relations—despite his recent flap with President Obama—praised the “courageous Arab protesters” across the Middle East, and called for a “far-reaching compromise” with the Palestinians, the New York Times reports.

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But Netanyahu didn’t back down from his insistence that Israel could not return to its pre-1967 borders, and said he refused to negotiate with Hamas, which he called “a Palestinian version of al-Qaeda.” He also said Palestinians would have to stay outside Israel’s borders, with only a limited right of return. But he said Israel was willing to give back some land where Israelis have settled. “I am willing to make painful compromises,” he said. (Read more Benjamin Netanyahu stories.)

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