Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke for nearly 50 minutes to a joint meeting of the U.S. Congress. He received 26 standing ovations. We will have lots of analysis on CNN.com/GPS in the minutes and hours ahead. What did you think?
Do you have a question for Netanyahu? At 1pm, Netanyahu’s spokesman Mark Regev (@israelpm) will answer YOUR questions live.
LIVE BLOGGING NETANYAHU’S SPEECH
12:07: Netanyahu to Abbas: “Tear up your pact with Hamas….Make peace with the Jewish state.”
12:06: Netanyahu reaffirms Hamas is the Palestinian version of al Qaeda.
12:05: “Hamas remains committed to Israel’s destruction and terrorism….Hamas’ leader condemned the killing of Osama bin Laden and praised him as a holy warrior.”
12:05: “Peace cannot be imposed. It must be negotiated.” Netanyahu urges all to resist Palestinian push for statehood at the United Nations this September.
12:o3: “There is an America beyond the beltway but Israel on the 1967 lines would be only 9 miles wide. So much for strategic depth. It’s therefore absolutely vital that a Palestinian state be fully demilitarized…and that Israel maintain a long-term military presence along the Jordan river.”
12:oo: Jerusalem must remain the united capitol of Israel.”
11:58: Netanyahu says Israel will incorporate certain new population centers and “other areas of national strategic importance.” This is likely a veiled reference to areas Israel has a keen security interest in, chief among them the Jordan Valley. The future of the Jordan Valley, and whether it would be under permanent Palestinian or Israeli security control, has long been a source of tension and disagreement.
11:57: “Israel will be generous on size of the state, but very firm on where we put the border with it.”
– Disturbance in House chamber during Netanyahu’s speech by Deirdre Walsh: A woman was removed from the House Chamber by U.S Capitol Police Tuesday after interrupting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to a joint meeting of Congress. Police escorted her out of the chamber and she was heard screaming “equal rights for Palestine” loudly on the third floor of the Capitol outside the chamber. She also yelled, “The occupation of Palestine is indefensible.” U.S. Capitol Police appear to be taking her out of the building for processing
11:55: Netanyahu says the issue is about recognition of Israel as a Jewish state.
11:53: Calls on Mahmoud Abbas to stand before his people and say, “‘I will accept a Jewish state.’ Those six words will change history.”
11:53: “The continue to educate their kids to hate….They continue to perpetuate the fantasy that Israel will one day be flooded by the descendants of Palestinian refugees. My friends, this must come to an end.”
11:51: “The Palestinians have been unwilling to accept a Palestinian state if it meant accepting a Jewish state alongside it. Our conflict has never been about the existence of a Palestinian state. It is about the existence of a Jewish state. This is what this conflict is about.” Netanyahu laying blame for lack of peace at the feet of the Palestinians.
11:51: “If benefits of peace are so clear, why has peace eluded us?”
11:50: “Peace could make the regime of a broader Arab-Israeli peace a realistic possibility.”
11:47: “In Judea and Samaria, the Jewish people are not foreign occupiers. We are not the British in India. We are not the Belgians in the Congo. This is the land of our forefathers.” Acknowledges Israel will have to give up elements of “historic homeland.”
11:46: Calls for economic and political support for those committed to peace – Egypt and Jordan. “We must also find a way to forge a lasting peace with the Palestinians.”
11:43: Netanyahu now turns to peace, drawing on his own background. “I lost my brother, so no one in Israel wants a return to those terrible days.”
11:42: “The more Iran believes all options are on the table, the less the chance of confrontation.”
11:41: “History will solute you, America!” says Netanyahu.
11:40: “In much of the international community, calls for our destruction are met with utter silence. It’s even worse because their are many who condemn Israel for defending itself against Iran’s terror proxies. Not you. Not America.”
11:37: Case against Iran: (a) spur nuclear arms race; (b) give terrorists a nuclear umbrella; and (c) empower nuclear terrorism. “Threat to my country cannot be overstated.”
11:36: Says democracy has begun to take root in the Arab World. Says a Middle East that is genuinely democratic will be truly at peace. “But while we work for the best…we must also recognize that powerful forces oppose this future….Foremost among these forces is Iran.”
11:34: “Of 300 million Arabs, less than 1/2 of 1% are truly free and they’re all citizens of Israel. This startling fact reveals a basic truth: Israel is not what is wrong about the Middle East. Israel is what is right about the Middle East.”
11:33: Quotes George Eliot, who predicted “‘The Jewish state will shine like a bright star of freedom amidst the despotism of the East.’ She was right.”
11:31: “Today, the Middle East stands at a fateful crossroads… I pray the people of the region choose…the path of liberty.”
11:30: Netanyahu says “This is real democracy” because unlike “farcical parliaments” in Tehran or Tripoli, there is no such free speech. Very strong riposte to the protester.
11:29: Someone in the audience shouts and interrupts the PM’s speech. The audience rises and cheers to drown her out.
11:28: Netanyahu is now addressing the Arab Spring, saying it evokes 1989 Berlin and Prague.
11:27am: Thanks President Obama for his commitment to Israel. Making the case for why America is Israel’s best ally.
11:27am: “We defend ourselves.” Netanyahu is delivering a number of punchy applause-lines.
11:26am: “Israel has always been pro-American; Israel will always be pro-American.”
11:25am: Netanyahu congratulates President Obama for getting bin Laden. “Good riddance.”
11:24am: “Israel has no better friend than America. And America has no better friend than Israel.” Again a standing ovation.
11:24am: Netanyahu notes friends of Israel in the audience, “Democrats and Republicans alike.” This gets a standing ovation.
11:23am: Netanyahu begins address saying he’s “deeply moved by this warm welcome” and by the honor of addressing Congress a second time.
11:22am: Speaker Boehner introduces Netanyahu to sustained applause.
11:21am: Netanyahu is at the podium.
11:20am: Netanyahu enters to sustained applause. U.S. Rep Eric Cantor follows.
11:17am: Secretary Clinton and Gates are not in the audience. CNN’s Dana Bash says not to read into that.
11:12am: Here’s some of what to watch for in the speech:
– What does Netanyahu say about the Palestinians? About Mahmoud Abbas? About Hamas?
– What does he say about President Obama, the ’67 lines and swaps?
– What does he say about Iran?
– What does he say about the United Nations vote on Palestinian statehood in September?
– How does he explain why peace hasn’t come to pass?
11:07am: Vice President Joe Biden also introducing members of Congress.