If the Palestinians Stop Terrorism, We Won't Need a Fence

(Rocky Mountain News) Ambassador Daniel Ayalon - Those who oppose the fence say it's really a land grab, that we are prejudging any political outcome and making life harsher for the Palestinians. But we say no, it's not any of these. Categorically, this is a buffer zone. It's certainly not a political border because it can be removed at any time. If the Palestinians stop terrorism, we won't need a fence. People are getting killed and the fence is a defensive response. Stopping terrorism means dismantling their infrastructure, collecting illegal weapons, and closing the explosives labs. We can't allow them to regroup; the leaders must be arrested. Do this and we won't need a fence. Everyone asks about Israeli concessions. Nobody is asking the Palestinians to make concessions. For them to stop the terrorism is an absolute must. But on top of that, when we come to a political agreement, what are they willing to give up? In terms of Jerusalem, in terms of what they call "right of return," in terms of territory - what are they willing to give up? Are they willing to meet us someplace halfway? As for the road map, it was the first time an American president talked about a two-state solution, and we endorsed it. But terrorism didn't stop for one day. The main problem is that the Palestinian leadership, mainly Arafat and those surrounding him, see terror as a legitimate tool to advance their cause, which is to destroy Israel. They don't believe in a two-state solution; they believe in one Palestinian state and they do not accept Israel's right to exist. The Palestinian leadership keep claiming they can't rein in the terrorists, that we destroyed their police forces. This is nonsense; they still have 30,000 well-equipped security forces that are getting paid every month. They have the manpower and arms to round up Jihad or Hamas, if not in one night, then two or three. And if they did it, it would not create a civil war. Hamas would back down. President Bush keeps saying: There will never be a Palestinian state as long as the terror continues. So everybody knows what to do now. It's just a matter of leadership.

2003-11-28 00:00:00

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