Friday, January 11, 2008

For the Record: Bush Speech and My Comments

President Bush Discusses Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process on January 10, 2008 at 5:27 PM at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem:-

...I called upon both leaders to make sure their teams negotiate seriously, starting right now. I strongly supported the decision of the two leaders to continue their regular summit meetings, because they are the ones who can, and must, and -- I am convinced -- will lead.

I share with these two leaders the vision of two democratic states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security. Both of these leaders believe that the outcome is in the interest of their peoples and are determined to arrive at a negotiated solution to achieve it.

The point of departure for permanent status negotiations to realize this vision seems clear: There should be an end to the occupation that began in 1967. The agreement must establish Palestine as a homeland for the Palestinian people, just as Israel is a homeland for the Jewish people. These negotiations must ensure that Israel has secure, recognized, and defensible borders. And they must ensure that the state of Palestine is viable, contiguous, sovereign, and independent.

It is vital that each side understands that satisfying the other's fundamental objectives is key to a successful agreement. Security for Israel and viability for the Palestinian state are in the mutual interests of both parties.

Achieving an agreement will require painful political concessions by both sides. While territory is an issue for both parties to decide, I believe that any peace agreement between them will require mutually agreed adjustments to the armistice lines of 1949 to reflect current realities and to ensure that the Palestinian state is viable and contiguous. I believe we need to look to the establishment of a Palestinian state and new international mechanisms, including compensation, to resolve the refugee issue.

I reaffirm to each leader that implementation of any agreement is subject to implementation of the road map. Neither party should undertake any activity that contravenes road map obligations or prejudices the final status negotiations. On the Israeli side that includes ending settlement expansion and removing unauthorized outposts. On the Palestinian side that includes confronting terrorists and dismantling terrorist infrastructure.

I know Jerusalem is a tough issue. Both sides have deeply felt political and religious concerns. I fully understand that finding a solution to this issue will be one of the most difficult challenges on the road to peace, but that is the road we have chosen to walk.

Security is fundamental. No agreement and no Palestinian state will be born of terror. I reaffirm America's steadfast commitment to Israel's security.

The establishment of the state of Palestine is long overdue. The Palestinian people deserve it. And it will enhance the stability of the region, and it will contribute to the security of the people of Israel. The peace agreement should happen, and can happen, by the end of this year. I know each leader shares that important goal, and I am committed to doing all I can to achieve it.



My comments:

1. I share with these two leaders the vision of two democratic states, Israel and Palestine

Maybe, but very few Pals. other than the 10 Pals. Bush and Rice meet with, want or seek or desire democracy.

2. There should be an end to the occupation that began in 1967

But the Arabs consider Israel an "occupying force" in the areas she held prior to 1967.

3. establish Palestine as a homeland for the Palestinian people

Fine. But Jordan is part of "Palestine".

4. just as Israel is a homeland for the Jewish people

But not only that territory. The historic Jewish homeland, recognized by international law, includes Shiloh, my home, Bet El, Hebron and several other sites mentioned in the Bible, the Mishnah, the Talmud, Rabbinic literature and on wards for a period of 3500 years.

5. require mutually agreed adjustments to the armistice lines of 1949 to reflect current realities

Recognizing some of the Jewish communities across the Green Line is a good start. We can work from there.

6. I know Jerusalem is a tough issue...finding a solution to this issue will be one of the most difficult challenges on the road to peace, but that is the road we have chosen to walk.

How about we start this stroll by allowing Jews unhindered and unimpeded access to the Temple Mount, taking into consideration elementary Muslim feelings (we won't pray inside a mosuqe of the Dome of the Rock monument), and the establishment of a prayer site there within?

7. The Palestinian people deserve it [a state]

Actually, they don't. They have their state in Jordan. They have full citizen rights and liberties in Israel and have used the territory of Judea, Samaria and Gaza to exterminate Jews and to thwart the establishment of a sovereign Jewish state.

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