Ambassador Michael Oren
Ambassador Michael Oren. Photo by Natasha Mozgovaya
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Israel's ambassador to the United States Michael Oren remarked on Tuesday that Israel would not allow anyone to dictate its borders.

"Like Ben-Gurion, Netanyahu will not allow the United Nations, or any other organization, to dictate our borders. They will be determined through negotiations," he said in Washington during an event at the Chamber of commerce celebrating 25 years since the establishment of the Free Trade agreement between the U.S. and Israel.

In September, Israel entered into U.S.-sponsored direct peace negotiations with the Palestinians, which subsequently broke down in the wake of the expiration of a temporary Israeli moratorium on construction in West Bank settlements. As part of the negotiations, Palestinian negotiators have demanded the establishment of a Palestinian state along the 1967 borders.

"Today, too, Israel is blessed with principled and courageous leadership. While facing terrorist groups sworn to destroy every last one of us - women, children, senior citizens - and some 60,000 Hamas and Hezbollah rockets pointed directly at our homes; with so-called human rights organizations and boycott movements and campus coalitions denying our right to defend ourselves and even our right to exist, and with Iranian leaders swearing to wipe us off the map and striving to produce the nuclear means for doing that…. With all of those challenges, the Israeli government under PM Benjamin Netanyahu has not for a nanosecond reduced its commitment to peace," Oren said.

"But not a peace at any price," he added. "Not a peace that will impair Israel’s security or impugn its identity as the nation state of the Jewish people.
As Netanyahu said last year in his Bar-Ilan speech, he will not allow any future Palestinian state to become another Lebanon or Gaza."

Speaking about Israel's economic achievements, Oren went on to say that "you may also have heard that 2010 was Israel’s biggest tourism year ever, breaking last year’s record by 27 percent, or that Israel’s thriving film industry has produced two Oscar Best Foreign Picture nominations in the last two years. You might have heard that Israel's wine industry, more than 140 wineries strong, has surpassed the 30 million bottle a year mark with annual export increase of 25 percent - to France - or that Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer has now been named the most successful National Bank Governor in the world."