Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) in Washington. In
quoting what President Bush said about the Israel-Palestine situation at
the United Nations on 19 September 2006 (see below) they carefully
neglect to include a key sentence that contains one very significant
point: "The Palestinian people have suffered from decades of corruption
and violence and _the daily humiliation of occupation._"
The entire JINSA message is offensive, but the calculated omission of
that important phrase illustrates once again their continual habit of
corrupting the truth in the interest of underhanded propaganda.
"Leaving Israel Out"
The most important thing to note about President Bush's return to Palestinian-Israeli modus vivendi-making (peace-making being a bridge too far) is that it was properly focused on obligations accruing to the Palestinians and ways others, including Arab countries, could help the Palestinians meet them. He said at the UN yesterday:
This struggle is unfolding in the Palestinian territories. Earlier this year, the Palestinian people voted in a free election. The leaders of Hamas campaigned on a platform of ending corruption and improving the lives of the Palestinian people, and they prevailed. The world is waiting to see whether the Hamas government will follow through on its promises, or pursue an extremist agenda. And the world has sent a clear message to the leaders of Hamas: Serve the interests of the Palestinian people. Abandon terror, recognize Israel's right to exist, honor agreements, and work for peace.
President Abbas is committed to peace, and to his people's aspirations for a state of their own. Prime Minister Olmert is committed to peace, and has said he intends to meet with President Abbas to make real progress on the outstanding issues between them. I believe peace can be achieved, and that a democratic Palestinian state is possible. I hear from leaders in the region who want to help. I've directed Secretary of State Rice to lead a diplomatic effort to engage moderate leaders across the region, to help the Palestinians reform their security services, and support Israeli and Palestinian leaders in their efforts to come together to resolve their differences. Prime Minister Blair has indicated that his country will work with partners in Europe to help strengthen the governing institutions of the Palestinian administration. We welcome his initiative. Countries like Saudi Arabia and Jordan and Egypt have made clear they're willing to contribute the diplomatic and financial assistance necessary to help these efforts succeed. I'm optimistic that by supporting the forces of democracy and moderation, we can help Israelis and Palestinians build a more hopeful future and achieve the peace in a Holy Land we all want.
The President was a bit disingenuous and a lot optimistic. Disgust with corruption in Fatah may be the reason Palestinians voted for Hamas, but the Hamas platform openly included the destruction of Israel and the "liberation" of Jerusalem. We dispute that Abu Mazen is "committed to peace." He is committed to the same three goals to which Arafat, his mentor, was committed, and the fact that he finds suicide bombings and rocket attacks counterproductive hardly makes him a partner in anything. We were, and remain, skeptical of American efforts to "reform Palestinian security services."
But those are smaller points amid the larger point. It is not "settlements," not checkpoints, not the Security Fence - not Israel - that prevents the evolution of a more peaceful Middle East or even the establishment of a Palestinian State. It is Palestinian behavior and the President quite rightly focused his attention on that point and left Israel out.
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