The Palestinian Authority and the Challenge of Palestinian Elections

(Institute for Contemporary Affairs/Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs) Maj.-Gen. (Res.) Giora Eiland - * The government of Israel could accept the roadmap because it differed from the Oslo process in one significant respect. In Oslo, the notion was that peace would bring security. The political process was to develop certain horizons for the Palestinian people, and hopes for a better future were to reduce the incentives and motivation for terrorism. But it didn't work. * The roadmap is based on the opposite concept, in which the security problems have to be addressed first. Israel does not intend to repeat the same mistake again and have a political process under the continuous threat of another wave of terrorism. * Israel made a historic decision in February 2003 to accept the roadmap, which envisions a two-state solution, with the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel. However, the Palestinians have yet to make two crucial strategic decisions which they cannot ignore or escape. The first is to understand that political achievements cannot be gained through terrorism. The second is to recognize that a two-state solution means that on one side there will be a Palestinian state, but on the other side there will be a Jewish state. I have never heard any real Arab leader say loud and clear that Israel has the right to exist as a Jewish state. * Prime Minister Sharon did not think a further unilateral withdrawal in the West Bank was a smart thing to do. This was not his intention and there were no such plans. The prime minister believed that Israel has to stay exactly where we are as far as territory is concerned, and to insist that the Palestinians begin to do what they have to do in the security realm before other political movement can take place.

2006-02-02 00:00:00

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