Czech leader: Netanyahu offered Jerusalem home to be our embassy
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Czech leader: Netanyahu offered Jerusalem home to be our embassy

President Milos Zeman says Israel's PM was willing to vacate his residence if it meant the country opened its embassy in Jerusalem

photo: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post/Israel Sun
08-06-2015

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on the world to hold the Palestinians accountable for their continuing tactic of fleeing peace talks which Israel has always shown itself ready to engage in.
Speaking ahead of a meeting with visiting Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaora'lek, Netanyahu voiced his commitment to a two-state solution, but said that the Palestinians refused to engage in direct talks.
He listed the long line of Israeli prime ministers who have attempted to reach an agreement with the Palestinians to no avail."They ran away from Barak; they ran away from Sharon; they ran away from Olmert; they ran away from me. "
Netanyahu called the Palestinian tactic "a perfect trap." 
"What they do is they refuse to negotiate, refuse to deal with the framework of John Kerry, in the White House, run to Hamas, which calls for our destruction, go to the UN and try to get sanctions on Israel," Netanyahu said.
"They refuse to negotiate and then try to get boycotts on Israel for there not being negotiations which they refuse to enter. Catch 22," he charged.
"I think this cycle has to be stopped. I think we have to get back to direct negotiations without preconditions. I think it’s important that the international community stop giving the Palestinians a free pass," he said.

ðúðéäå òí ùø äçåõ ùì ö'ëéä
photo: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post/Israel Sun 08-06-2015 Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on the world to hold the Palestinians accountable for their continuing tactic of fleeing peace talks which Israel has always shown itself ready to engage in. Speaking ahead of a meeting with visiting Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaora'lek, Netanyahu voiced his commitment to a two-state solution, but said that the Palestinians refused to engage in direct talks. He listed the long line of Israeli prime ministers who have attempted to reach an agreement with the Palestinians to no avail."They ran away from Barak; they ran away from Sharon; they ran away from Olmert; they ran away from me. " Netanyahu called the Palestinian tactic "a perfect trap." "What they do is they refuse to negotiate, refuse to deal with the framework of John Kerry, in the White House, run to Hamas, which calls for our destruction, go to the UN and try to get sanctions on Israel," Netanyahu said. "They refuse to negotiate and then try to get boycotts on Israel for there not being negotiations which they refuse to enter. Catch 22," he charged. "I think this cycle has to be stopped. I think we have to get back to direct negotiations without preconditions. I think it’s important that the international community stop giving the Palestinians a free pass," he said. ðúðéäå òí ùø äçåõ ùì ö'ëéä

Czech President Milos Zeman said that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered to give up his own home in Jerusalem if the Czech Republic opens an embassy there.

Zeman said this, possibly as a joke, during a speech last week at a gala of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC.

Zeman, a staunch supporter of Israel who supports moving his country’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, praised President Donald Trump for initiating in December the move of the US embassy to the Israeli capital. Zeman said he had supported moving the Czech embassy years ago, according to a transcription of his speech that was posted this week on the official website of the Czech presidency.

“That’s not all, Bibi Netanyahu told me: ‘If you do [the same] I will give you my own house for your embassy.’,” Zeman said, adding: “I strongly hope that the offer is still valid because it could greatly reduce the cost of this relocation.”

The European Union, of which the Czech Republic is a member, opposes the US embassy’s move to Jerusalem, which Brussels says should occur only after the conclusion of a peace deal with the Palestinian Authority. It also claims Jerusalem as the capital for a future Palestinian state. Netanyahu has called on other nations to follow the example of the United States. So far, only Guatemala and Paraguay have followed suit.

The Czech foreign ministry, which is not under the authority of the Czech prime minister, not the president, has said the embassy will stay put for now.

However, Zeman has called this “cowardice.”

Unfortunately, he added suring his speech at the AIPAC gala dinner in Prague, “I’m afraid that only 10 percent of the total population is brave, maybe less. That’s why I like Israel. Let me end with one sentence from an old Jewish prayer: Next year in Jerusalem!”

The Czech acting prime minister, Andrej Babis, in April said his country will open an honorary consulate in Jerusalem but Zeman later said that consulate’s opening is part of an open-ended effort that will end with the relocation of the Czech embassy to Jerusalem.

Also during the AIPAC gala, Moshe Kantor, the president of the European Jewish Congress, presented Zeman with a piece of a monument that was inaugurated earlier this month at Terezin, the site of a former Nazi concentration camp. The new monument features a massive rock suspended over the ground by a circular brace.

“The nature of the stone is meant to capture the eternity of grief, and its immensity the magnitude of the burden of the Jewish people,” Kantor said at the inauguration ceremony on June 4. He also said the monument is to serve as a “reminder of the lessons of the Holocaust” amid rising levels of anti-Semitic violence in Europe.

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