Secy. Rice: Israel Must End Occupation of 'West Bank'
Speaking with Arabic-language Radio Sawa, based in Washington and Dubai, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice went further in her demands on Israel than President Bush did in his recent speech on Israel.
Rice, about to depart for the Middle East to prepare an upcoming international meeting of regional leaders, said that President Bush recently stated "very clearly that Israel's future will rest in Israel, in places like Galilee and in the Negev - and that the occupation of the West Bank will have to end, and a Palestinian state will need to be established."
In fact, however, in his recent speech, President Bush did not phrase this as a demand upon Israel, but rather cited Prime Minister Olmert as having "made clear that Israel's future lies in developing areas like the Negev and Galilee - not in continuing occupation of the West Bank. This is a reality that Prime Minister Sharon recognized, as well. So unauthorized outposts should be removed and settlement expansion ended."
Rice Sets New Standard
Pres. Bush also stopped short of saying Israel must withdraw from all of Judea and Samaria. Bush said rather that future Israel-PA negotiations must "lead to a territorial settlement, with mutually agreed borders reflecting previous lines and current realities, and mutually agreed adjustments."
By stating so clearly that the "the occupation of the West Bank will have to end," Rice has set a new standard for United States officials of her stature in opposition to Israel's presence in Judea and Samaria.
Secretary Rice did not deal with the question of what to do with the 240,000 Jews living in the non-annexed areas of Judea and Samaria (nor the roughly equal amount living in the outlying neighborhoods of Jerusalem beyond Israel's pre-1967 borders). Israel has not yet been able to solve the problems of the fewer than 10,000 Jews it evicted from Gaza two years ago; those Jews are still living in transient camps of temporary pre-fab houses, with no long-term housing or employment solutions in sight.
No Invitations Yet
Secretary Rice also told Radio Sawa that "no invitations have gone out yet" for the planned meeting. "I want to talk to our allies in the region and our friends in the region about how they see and what they would see to be a useful international meeting," she said. "[It] will be, as the President said, an opportunity to review our progress. It will be an opportunity to make commitments to support the Israelis and Palestinians in their discussions, in their future negotiations... The United States doesn't want Made-in-America solutions. We need the entire population of states that are devoted to the two-state solution to work with us. And so these will be very important consultations."
Bush: Hamas - Bad, Fatah - Great
President Bush, in his speech ten days ago, compared Hamas and Fatah in stark terms, painting a picture of contrasts in which the Arabs under PA jurisdiction can, seemingly, choose either evil (Hamas) or good (Fatah).
"This is a moment of clarity for all Palestinians," Bush said," and now comes a moment of choice... There is the vision of Hamas, which the world saw in Gaza - with murderers in black masks, and summary executions, and men thrown to their death from rooftops. By following this path, the Palestinian people would guarantee chaos, and suffering, and the endless perpetuation of grievance. They would surrender their future to Hamas's foreign sponsors in Syria and Iran. And they would crush the possibility of a Palestinian state."
"There's another option," Bush continued, "and that's a hopeful option. It is the vision of [Fatah] President Abbas and Prime Minister Fayyad; it's the vision of their government; it's the vision of a peaceful state called Palestine as a homeland for the Palestinian people. To realize this vision, these leaders are striving to build the institutions of a modern democracy. They're working to strengthen the Palestinian security services, so they can confront the terrorists and protect the innocent... And they're ensuring that Palestinian society operates under the rule of law. By following this path, Palestinians can reclaim their dignity and their future -- and establish a state of their own."
Rampant Fatah Terrorism and Hatred
In fact, however, Fatah's Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades have actually taken responsibility for every suicide bombing in Israel the past three years. Just this week, WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein reports, Fatah terrorists organized yet another terrorist cell in Samaria for attacks against Israel. In addition, the 178 wanted Fatah terrorists whom Israel agreed to pardon last week if they would renounce terrorism described their hand-in of weapons as a "big joke."
Interestingly, Bush noted that Hamas men threw Fatah members out of apartment buildings during their recent battles, but neglected to mention that Fatah did the same to Hamas members.
As Caroline Glick wrote in the Jerusalem Post on Dec. 26, 2006, "If Abbas were interested in peace, he would not be demanding that Israel [do the following]: release terrorists from prison; stop arresting wanted terrorists; make it easier for terrorists to operate in Judea and Samaria by suspending IDF counterterror operations and taking down roadblocks; bring more terrorists into the areas from Jordan; arm terrorists through Egypt; and give him money to pay the salaries of terrorists."
Former Israeli Cabinet Minister Natan Sharansky succintly described the cultural milieu in the Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority as one that “promotes genocide” against Jews: “As in Nazi Germany, there is an entire culture of hatred in Palestinian Arab society today, from textbooks to crossword puzzles, from day camps to TV music videos. Calling for the murder of Jews, as Jews, is the end result.”