Powell’s Speech – Promise and Doubt

[Secretary of State] Powell spoke, and included
in his speech some important elements – about what
the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is about and how
a solution should look – not explicitly expressed
before by a representative of the US
administration. At the same time, it remains
doubtful whether the US is at last going to use
its leverage – to get the Sharon government to the
negotiating table.

Today [November 19, 2001] Colin Powell gave his
long-awaited speech on the U.S. Administration’s
plans for Middle East Peace.

READ IT:

Remarks at
the McConnell Center for Political Leadership
University of Louisville, Kentucky –
http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2001/index.cf
m?docid=6219

The highlights:

Powell condemned violence against innocent civilians
and incitement to violence;
said that there must be security for both Israelis
and Palestinians;
said both sides had suffered from the Occupation;

said settlement activity must stop;

said that the Occupation must end;

called for a "just and lasting peace"
consistent with UN Security Council resolutions 242
and 338;
called for creation of a "viablePalestinian
State" alongside Israel;

called for a solution to the status of Jerusalem
that respects Jews, Muslims and Christians;

requested a "just solution" for the refugees;
and called for immediate economic investment into
Palestine.

The speech shows very clearly that our work is making a difference.

Three very important pieces of information unfortunately did not make it into the speech:

(1) that U.S. is complicit in the abuses of Palestinians because its military aid to Israel funds the Occupation,

(2) that it is neither necessary nor possible to obtain a "cease-fire" before restarting negotiations, as such a policy gives veto power to extremists to Israeli soldiers who incite violent reactions, and

(3) that it will take a real shift in US policies, and
not merely prodding the parties, to reach a just
solution.

But overall, the speech is a big step in the right
direction.

Now of course comes the hard part:

to make Powell’s words reality, to prevent U.S.
administration backtracking, and to prevent Israel and its
lobbyists from using their strategic advantage (as
after the Oslo accords) to undermine the very
principles that are being promulgated.

We have accomplished a great deal. We have a great
deal more to accomplish.

[ also see related items:

Uri Avnery on the Holy Alliance, Past and Present – http://www.theexperiment.org/articles.php?news_id=1579

Appeal to Boycott Israeli Goods and Leisure Travel – http://www.theexperiment.org/articles.php?news_id=1293

Assassinations and the West’s Collective Short Memory – http://www.theexperiment.org/articles.php?news_id=1529

34 Palestinians killed since recent “ceasefire” – http://www.theexperiment.org/articles.php?news_id=1511

Assassination of Palestinian Leader – Another Step Towards War – http://www.theexperiment.org/articles.php?news_id=1461

Israel Bombs Palestinian Civilians to “Deter Terrorism” – http://www.theexperiment.org/articles.php?news_id=1442

Collective Punishment Leaves 500 Palestinians Homeless – http://www.theexperiment.org/articles.php?news_id=1432

Al Khader Today: the True Face of the Israeli Occupation in a Nutshell – http://www.theexperiment.org/articles.php?news_id=1426

Israel Targets Palestinian Infrastructure, Using U.S. Weapons – http://www.theexperiment.org/articles.php?news_id=1027

Palestine 101: Palestinian Refugees & Washington’s Role In Mass Expulsions – http://www.theexperiment.org/articles.php?news_id=965

Israel/Palestine: A Recent Chronology – http://www.theexperiment.org/articles.php?news_id=1016

Palestine 102: “Barak’s Generous Offers” A Political Map of Israel’s Proposed Borders with Palestine – http://www.theexperiment.org/articles.php?news_id=1404

How It Came to This: A Palestinian’s View – http://www.theexperiment.org/articles.php?news_id=860 ]

Author: Adam Gutride

News Service: Jewish Voice for Peace

URL: http://www.jewishvoiceforpeace.org/pressRelease/releasePage.asp?prID=4