PROFESSOR IAN LUSTICK: BUSH SPEECH

September 23, 2006 at 12:12 am | Posted in Globalization, History, Israel, Middle East, Palestine | Leave a comment

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(In the brouhaha over Hugo Chavez’s attack on President Bush, most commentators
missed the fact that Bush’s own speech reaffirmed some key American foreign policy
principles regarding the Israeli-Palestinian relationship, and even sharpened some of
those

PROFESSOR IAN LUSTICK

In the brouhaha over Hugo Chavez’s attack on President Bush, most commentators missed
the fact that Bush’s own speech reaffirmed some key American foreign policy principles
regarding the Israeli-Palestinian relationship, and even sharpened some of those
positions. Here’s an excerpt.

Notice:

1. reaffirmation of the two state solution as one of
the “great objectives of my presidency.”

2. reference to the “daily humiliation of occupation.”

3. portrayal of the world as waiting to see whether Hamas will keep its promise, implying
a readiness to do business with an elected Hamas government depending on its policies

4. reference to the West Bank and Gaza as “Palestinian territories” rather than
as “disputed territories.”

Don’t hold your breath for a breakthrough, but as the situation in Iraq becomes
increasingly dire even this administration is pushed toward trying to find what hope there
is a for a diplomatic solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

IL)

Excerpted from President Bush’s Speech to the United Nations:

The world must also stand up for peace in the Holy Land. I’m committed to two democratic
states — Israel and Palestine — living side-by-side in peace and security. I’m committed
to a Palestinian state that has territorial integrity and will live peacefully with the
Jewish state of Israel. This is the vision set forth in the road map — and helping the
parties reach this goal is one of the great objectives of my presidency. The Palestinian
people have suffered from decades of corruption and violence and the daily humiliation of
occupation. Israeli citizens have endured brutal acts of terrorism and constant fear of
attack since the birth of their nation. Many brave men and women have made the commitment
to peace. Yet extremists in the region are stirring up hatred and trying to prevent these
moderate voices from prevailing.

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.

Bush says some good things about Israelis and Palestinians

Ian Lustick ilustick@sas.upenn.edu

Friday, September 22, 2006

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