[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
Today [November 19, 2001] Colin Powell gave his
long-awaited speech on the U.S. Administration’s
plans for Middle East Peace.
Powell condemned violence against innocent civilians
and incitement to violence;
said that there must be security for both Israelis
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
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
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
But overall, the speech is a big step in the right
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:
Author: Adam Gutride
News Service: Jewish Voice for Peace