We come in peace

Il discorso di Ohlmert al summit di Annapolis è lineare, concreto e va dritto al punto.

Dear Arab Leaders –
We come to Annapolis in peace. We always do. We came to Camp David in peace and we have enjoyed our peace with Egypt for years. We came to Camp David a second time and we were treated to terrorism. We come to Annapolis in peace, as always, and certainly expect, that no matter what the outcome here, it does not end in violence.

Peace works when everyone comes in the right frame of mind to end conflict entirely. It is a process that is based on building trust between leaders and trust between peoples. That trust is built by fulfilling past agreements to the letter and not moving on when the situation changes and agreements are inconvenient. When leaders take their commitments seriously, so do do everyday citizens and that builds trust. It is true in business, it is true in friendship and it is true in diplomacy.

You cannot microwave peace. It does not happen overnight or because two leaders decide to make peace. Peace comes when a people, a nation, wants to focus on building its own society instead of destroying another’s. It comes when citizens have jobs and a decent living and are striving for a better education and a better society. Peace requires a bold change of mind and heart at all levels of society in order for it to be stable. Nuclear saber rattling, rocketeering, and educational incitement are not conducive to bilateral peace nor regional stability. No Annapolis microwave will change that. But, over time, we can and we will.

Dear President Bush – you have been the best friend Israel has ever had in the White House. Ever. You understand the threat that radical Islamic terrorism posed and poses to Israel and the world, and you acted. That was bold leadership and a far-reaching vision and we are grateful to you. You hssisted and reassured the people of Israel and former Prime Minister Sharon with your visionary road map that called for the end of terrorism and then a more milestones and a two state solution. That is the cornerstone of building trust in keeping in agreements that build peace over the long term.

President Bush – We trust you and trusted you. We also trusted our Palestinian neighbors when we entered into the Oslo agreements and the unilateral withdrawal from Gaza. We are in receipt of your letter that puts the end of Palestinian terrorism and incitement in schools as a sine qua non for the peace process to move forward. We share your view and your road map.

Our country has still not healed from the forced removal of the dwellers in Gaza from their homes. My citizens and brothers, formerly of Gaza, continue their personal and family suffering. We have failed as a world community and a government to care for them. Many are unemployed and are still in temporary housing. They are suffering through a humanitarian crisis.

In addition, we have sustained rocket attacks from Gaza almost every day since the withdrawal. That has caused a humanitarian crisis in Sderot which is not far from the Gaza border. This was not what we bargained for when we withdrew our people from Gaza. Hamas, the long arm of Iran, has surprised us all there, including Abu Mazen. This is a volatile situation and certainly not an end to terrorism as called for in the Road Map.

Democracy is about choices. When a people chooses a radical Islamic leadership they might get war and poverty. If they choose a moderate, democratically elected leadership, one may get peace and prosperity. You can get capitalism and investment, education and advancement. However, when you have a split leadership, we can’t read the map.

Mr. Abbas – Let us both deal with our humanitarian crises. We need to resettle our people and find them jobs. You need to find jobs for your people so their motivation to fire rockets is reduced. we need to focus dmoestically and you need to focus domestically. We want Palestinians to have jobs and prosperity. And, we want to help with that. Our economy is booming because we focused on economy and education and not terrorism. I know you know that. You can do the same. You can be the Ben Gurion or George Washington of the Palestinian people. It is all about tough leadership decisions. Ending the violence and investing in education will get you there. Together with the Americans and the Europeans, we will be happy to set up an investment fund that funds real businesses and puts your capable work force to work in a productive way.

Focusing domestically is a way for both of us to build our bases of support for peace. Focusing on building bridges will heal wounds and build trust at all levels. Growing economies is a way to build stability. And, honoring agreements and Road Maps develops the credibility needed to bring our coalitions and countries along the long road to peace.

Thank you.

Auguri.

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2 commenti su “We come in peace

  1. E’ passata una settimana dal discorso di Ohlmert ad Annapolis ed ancora una volta The Economist si dimostra interprete acuto e pungente (da far male) dei fatti…
    I 99 Euro spesi per l’abbonamento cartaceo sono stati senza dubbio tra i miei migliori acquisti del 2007.

    The Annapolis peace summit

    Much to be modest about

    BETTER than nothing. For now, that is the most that can be said of the new Arab-Israeli “peace process” George Bush inaugurated in Annapolis on November 27th. After weeks of negotiation, the Israeli and Palestinian delegations did at the last minute approve 437 words for the American president to read out, but this was the sort of declaration that makes the phrase “lowest common denominator” sound generous. It commits both sides to the goal of two states but is utterly silent on borders, Jerusalem, Israel’s West Bank settlements and the fate of the Palestinian refugees—all the issues, in fact, that have confounded previous bouts of peacemaking.

    The pious hope of this newspaper that America’s president might fill the gap was confounded too (see article). Annapolis showed that for all its woes in the Middle East the United States still has pulling power. Saudi Arabia, Syria and a dozen other Arab countries turned up. Had Mr Bush wanted to signal what sort of deal America wanted, this was his chance. Yet his own speech was almost miraculously content-free. There was the ghost of a reference to 1967 and a call for Israel to stop expanding settlements. But saying out loud (as Bill Clinton did) that the border would have to be based on that of 1967, or that the two states would have to share Jerusalem, was evidently too daring for this deadbeat White House.

    So Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president Annapolis was intended to strengthen against the rejectionists of Hamas, returns to Ramallah with little to show except the promise of a year of bi-weekly meetings with Ehud Olmert. He has already met the Israeli prime minister umpteen times and they have been unable to agree on any of the substantive issues. Mr Olmert may feel that he came out better from Annapolis. But what a barren victory: how can he or any other Israeli centrist persuade Israel’s religious hawks to accept the need to give ground on Jerusalem, for example, while America has a president who is not willing to make such a demand?

    It is of course better that the two sides talk, even if their chances of making a breakthrough unaided are nil. Talking is better than killing. Talks might also prepare the ground for the day when America does have a president who is genuinely willing to spend political capital on Palestine. Having a peace process under way should also make it easier to take practical steps to improve the economic conditions of the Palestinians.

    And it could get worse
    On the other hand, history teaches that the start of even unpromising peace talks galvanises the spoilers from both sides. Right now, with the Gaza Strip under the control of Hamas, the prospects of escalation are all too real. As soon as one of the many rockets that Hamas fires routinely and indiscriminately into Israel’s southern towns hits a school or synagogue and kills a large number of Israelis, Mr Olmert will come under intense pressure to send his army back into the Gaza Strip, from which Ariel Sharon controversially extracted it in 2005. That could lead to a war no less brutal than the one Israel fought against Hizbullah in Lebanon last year.

    In the White House, Mr Bush’s speechwriters are no doubt congratulating him on a good week’s work. They appear to think that simply attracting a big crowd of Arabs to Annapolis and talking loftily about an independent Palestine strengthens the region’s moderates against the extremists of Hamas and Hizbullah, and the Iranians behind them. But in asking Mr Abbas to lead his exhausted and sceptical people back into the tunnel of negotiations, and neglecting to switch on a light at the end of it, Mr Bush is asking a lot of the Palestinian moderates. If they fail, he will deserve a big share of the blame.

  2. Anch’io sono molto soddisfatto dei soldi spesi per l’abbonamento all’Economist, anche se sulle questioni mediorientali non si allontana mai da comode posizioni pessimistiche (o forse sono io che tendo ad essere più ottimista del dovuto).

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