In his Foreign Affairs article (“Toward a Realistic Peace”), Rudy Giuliani wrote that too much emphasis has been placed on brokering negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, that the problem is not the absence of Palestinian statehood but corrupt and unaccountable governance, and that statehood must be earned through “sustained good governance, a clear commitment to fighting terrorism, and a willingness to live in peace with Israel.”
During a Q&A session last week in
I think there has been a kind of movement within our State Department that was best reflected during the Clinton Administration – but you can see a little of this in Bush I, and it is still there in Bush II -- and it is to create a Palestinian state for the purpose of creating a Palestinian state, to say that we have achieved peace.
Well, that could be extremely dangerous. We want to create, not necessarily a Palestinian state for the purpose of creating a Palestinian state -- we want to create a state that is now particularly going to help us in the Islamic terrorist war against us, not become another breeding ground for terrorism. . . .
So if we are going to create a Palestinian state that assists us, and doesn’t become a terrorist state, here’s what they have to do: they have to first renounce terrorism. . . . Secondly, they have to recognize the right of
to exist as a Jewish state. If they do that, we can then begin a process of trying to create a Palestinian state. But we shouldn’t do it until we are sure that those two things are real, and we’re not getting fooled, because we’ve gotten fooled in the past. Israel
. . . And I say a third thing is, they have to show that they can sustain that for at least some safe period of time, that it isn’t just a statement for the purpose of lulling people into a negotiation. Then we won’t give people false expectations of being able to achieve something. We won’t give the Israeli people false expectations; we won’t give the Palestinian people false expectations; we won’t give the rest of the world false expectations, when the United States will get blamed for why it’s not working.
The reason we have not been able to create a Palestinian state to date is not because of lack of trying by the
United Statesor . It is because of the Palestinians. Clinton got Ehud Barak to agree to every single thing -- I think unwisely, actually -- that Arafat wanted, and Arafat walked away. The major problem of the Palestinian people is a corrupt, dishonest leadership. Arafat was a murderer and a thief . . . Israel
You can’t negotiate with people like that. This isn’t a matter of being stubborn. . . . [T]here are people that are so dishonest, so dishonorable, that it is counter-productive to talk to them; it’s counter-productive to empower them. It just delays the ability to solve a problem. It’s like trying to buy a house from somebody who doesn’t own the house. What’s the point of doing it? Maybe you kind of satisfy yourself and others that you are talking to somebody, but you’re never going to buy the house, because the person doesn’t own the house. You keep offering him money for the house and he keeps agreeing, but then you don’t get the house. It's just stupid.
When he endorsed the Road Map, Ariel Sharon recognized that peace is produced not by peace agreements, but by conditions on the ground conducive to peace:
The concept behind [the Roadmap] is that only security will lead to peace. And in that sequence. Without the achievement of full security within the framework of which terror organizations will be dismantled it will not be possible to achieve genuine peace, a peace for generations. This is the essence of the Roadmap.
The opposite perception, according to which the very signing of a peace agreement will produce security out of thin air, has already been tried in the past and failed miserably. And such will be the fate of any other plan which promotes this concept. These plans deceive the public and create false hope. There will be no peace before the eradication of terror.
As it heads toward a November peace conference on final status issues, without having insisted on prior compliance with Phase I or II of its own Road Map, the Bush Administration is pushing expectations higher again, beyond what conditions on the ground will support. It could use a dose of Giuliani realism (not to speak of Yaalon realism).
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