Former U.S. Secretary of Defense: Recognizing the Palestinian Authority as a State Now Is a Huge Mistake

(Washington Post) Former U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates interviewed by David Ignatius - Former U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said in an interview published Wednesday: "The United States needs to understand that, unlike on a lot of other policies, Netanyahu on the two-state solution has a lot of popular support in Israel. I think there continues to be an underestimate outside of Israel on the traumatic effect on Israel of Oct.7....In all of Israel's wars with the Arab states, they have never experienced anything like the massacre of innocent civilians that they suffered on Oct. 7, and I think it has had a huge impact psychologically inside Israel." "I think that the administration was correct after Oct. 7 in the very strong support that they provided for Israel under those circumstances. I think that as the retaliation against Hamas in Gaza has proceeded, I think the administration has also taken the right position in terms of pressing harder for more humanitarian relief - more food, more medicine, and so on - and more effort to prevent collateral damage, to prevent the killing of innocent Palestinians." "This has been made much tougher by Hamas' approach, which is to integrate themselves with the civilian population so that there is no way to getting at Hamas without going through innocent civilians. This is what the Taliban did. This is what Hamas does, and it makes the situation all the more complicated for Israel." "The notion of recognizing the Palestinian Authority as a state now, I think, is a huge mistake. There has to be a process, a sequence of events, and some established criteria, of changes that have to happen in the West Bank, in the Palestinian Authority, and among the Palestinians themselves with Arab support, that over time will allow some confidence to be built on the part of the Israelis that a Palestinian state next door is not going to be an existential threat to Israel, is not going to be a threat for another Oct. 7. And that is going to take time."

2024-02-23 00:00:00

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