Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to Outline Peace Plan

VIDEO: Israeli Prime Minister says all relationships have disagreements.
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the American Israel Public Affairs Committee Monday that he will outline a vision for a peace plan when he addresses a joint session of Congress on Tuesday.

"I intend to speak the unvarnished truth because now more than ever what we need is peace," he said in a speech to the pro-Israel lobby.

Netanyahu was defiant in his opposition to the position that President Obama's articulated in a speech last Thursday that the 1967 lines, with agreed swaps, should be the basis for future negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.

"Israel cannot return to the indefensible 1967 lines," he said to roaring applause from the crowd.

Several times during his speech Netanyahu was interrupted by hecklers from the anti-war group Codepink, who protested Israel's polices in the West Bank and Gaza.

Obama's position drew a sharp rebuke from the Israeli Prime Minister shortly after the speech last week and the tension between the two leaders was visible when they spoke to the press after their meeting in the Oval Office on Friday.

In his own speech to AIPAC yesterday, President Obama defended his position.

"If there is a controversy, then it's not based in substance. What I did on Thursday was to say publicly what has long been acknowledged privately. I've done so because we can't afford to wait another decade, or another two decades, or another three decades to achieve peace," he said.

Speaking earlier in the evening on Monday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) split with the President on the use of the 1967 lines as the basis for negotiations.

"I believe the parties that should lead those negotiations must be the parties at the center of this conflict -- and no one else. The place where negotiating will happen must be the negotiating table -- and nowhere else," he said without mentioning President Obama or his speech last week.

"Those negotiations will not happen -- and their terms will not be set -- through speeches, or in the streets, or in the media. No one should set premature parameters about borders, about building or about anything else," Reid added.

In his remarks last week President Obama did not lay out a plan to get Israelis and Palestinians back to the negotiating table. The Obama administration launched peace talks with much fanfare last fall, only to see them collapse within weeks over a dispute about Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank.

Prospects for resumed talks took another hit in recent weeks when the political group Hamas, which does not recognize Israel's right to exist, struck a reconciliation deal with rival Fatah, which has controlled the West Bank and had been part of the talks with Israel.

In his speech to AIPAC, Senator Reid vowed not to allow American funding to go to a Palestinian government that included a Hamas that would not renounce violence against Israel.

"The United States of America will not give money to terrorists bent on the destruction of the State of Israel. If the Palestinian government insists on including Hamas, the United States will continue to insist that Hamas recognize Israel's right to exist, that it renounce violence, and that it honor the commitments made by prior Palestinian Authority governments," he said.

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