Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says his government and people will make peace with the Palestinians if they truly want it.
In his address to the United Nations, Thursday, Netanyahu called on the Palestinians to do what they have refused to do for more than 60 years -- say yes to a Jewish state.
"It's as simple, as clear, as elementary as that," Netanyahu said. "Just as we are asked to recognize a state for the Palestinian people, the Palestinians must be asked to recognize the state of the Jewish people."
Netanyahu said the Israeli people want to live side by side with the Palestinians living in peace, prosperity and dignity. For that statement, he received his only applause from the delegates.
The Israeli leader also told delegates the greatest threat facing the world today is the marriage between religious fundamentalism and weapons of mass destruction.
Following Wednesday's speech by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his denial of the Holocaust yet again, Netanyahu also urged the delegates to stand up to Iran.
"The most urgent challenge facing this body today is to prevent the tyrants of Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons," he said. "Are the members of the United Nations up to that challenge?"
Ahmadinejad addressed a half-empty chamber Wednesday, as several leaders protested his speech.
For those who stayed to hear the leader, Netanyahu asked, "Have you no shame? Have you no decency?"
Metanyahu also told delegates they are dead wrong if they think the Iranian regime is only a danger to the Jews.
"History has shown us time and time again that what starts with attacks on the Jews eventually ends up engulfing many, many others," he warned.
Netanyahu is no stranger to defending Israel before the world body. He fought many verbal battles as Israel's UN representative more 20 years ago.
Thursday, he defended his nation against a UN report that condemned Israel for it's conduct in last year's war in Gaza.
"A democracy legitimately defending itself against terror is morally hanged, drawn and quartered and given an unfair trial to boot," Netanyahu said. "By these twisted standards, the UN Human Rights Council would have dragged Roosevelt and Churchill to the docks as war criminals."
Netanyahu said the truth is that Israel's 2005 withdrawal from the Gaza strip was painful. Some 8,000 families were uprooted and 21 settlements dismantled in the name and expectation of peace.
The prime minister explained to the UN General Assembly that missile attacks launched against his country from Gaza increased tenfold after the withdrawal.
He said israel had no choice but to respond like U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill did when the Nazis launched missiles against England in WWII.
He says Israel was careful to launch surgical strikes against Palestinian missile launchers.
"That was no easy task because the terrorists were firing their missiles from homes and form schools," he said.
Netanyahu concluded his remarks making reference to the words spoken to the biblical warrior, Joshua more than 3,000 years ago.
"Let us be strong and of good courage. Let us confront this peril, secure our future and God willing, forge an enduring peace for generations to come," he said.
Meanwhile, President Barack Obama's plans to resume talks between Israel and the Palestinians faced a setback Thursday.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said negotiations cannot resume at this time because of "fundamental disagreements" with Israel over the agenda.