Bush Offered Palestinians a State; They Said No

[National Review ] Clifford D. May - Six years ago, on June 24, 2002, President Bush announced that the U.S. would support the creation of a Palestinian state. His only condition was that Palestinians first choose "leaders not compromised by terror." He asked also that they "confront corruption," and "build a practicing democracy based on tolerance and liberty." In 2006, elections were held in Gaza and the West Bank. Hamas, a terrorist organization, declared itself a political party and won. In 2007, Hamas launched a wave of violence against rival Fatah security forces. Since then, Hamas has been unchallenged in Gaza and no one talks of new elections or civil rights. Nor has Hamas attempted to build an economic base. Instead, it turned to Iran's rulers for money and guidance - and then complained that Palestinians were living in squalor because they weren't receiving sufficient funds from the U.S. and Europe. Hamas rains missiles on Israeli towns, sends terrorists into Israel on killing and kidnapping missions, and assigns suicide-bombers to blow up the few border crossings with Israel. Then Hamas complains that Israel is not delivering as much food, medicine, gasoline, and electricity as Palestinians require. President Bush believed that Palestinians wanted a state to call their own - and that they wanted that more than they wanted the destruction of the Jewish state next door. In 2002 Bush said: "If liberty can blossom in the rocky soil of the West Bank and Gaza, it will inspire millions of men and women around the globe....This moment is...a test to show who is serious about peace and who is not." He was right. It was a test. And now it's time to be candid about the results. Israelis, Americans, and Europeans are serious about peace. The enemies of Israelis, Americans, and European are serious about defeating Israelis, Americans, and Europeans. The writer is president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

2008-07-07 01:00:00

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