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Thursday, October 12, 2006

Condi Rice does a James Baker imitation

On September 21, I reported that the United States was downgrading its strategic relationship with Israel as a result of the country's failure to vanquish Hezbullah in this summer's war. Last night, we got yet another indication of that downgrade, as Condaleeza Rice did her best James "F**k the Jews, they don't vote for us anyway" Baker imitiation.

Rice spoke to a dinner marking the third anniversary of the American Task Force on 'Palestine,' or as the group's own web site called it, "ATFP's first annual gala honoring 'Palestinian Americans.'" One of the honorees at the dinner was Professor Mujid Kazimi of MIT, and his award was presented by 'Ambassador' Afif Safieh, "Chief Representative of the PLO Mission to the United States." In other words, Rice shared the podium with the purveyor of the following views:
The PLO representative, Afif Safieh, had told his audience at a luncheon of the Israel Policy Forum that to achieve peace “reconciliation” was needed by both Israelis and Palestinians. But he noted that since Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met in February, there are 3,000 more Palestinians in Israeli jails. Safieh, 55, pointed out that Israel refuses to release those “with blood on their hands.” “If we applied the same criteria to Israel,” he continued, “I would hardly find any Israelis to talk to.”

When [New York attorney David. CiJ] Stone later challenged him on that, Safieh —who assumed his post on Nov. 1 — said he saw no difference between Palestinian suicide bombers and Israelis, all of whom must serve in the military. “I found that truly horrifying,” Stone told The Jewish Week. “If this is the way he feels — that a soldier in the line of duty is the same as a guy who blows up in a nightclub — he is not the one we want to sit down to have lunch with. ... I must admit I left there feeling very uncomfortable.”
And here's Safieh on Hamas:
This guy thinks he's so sophisticated and subtle that he thinks Bush is going to be flattered by this smarmy gladhanding. But Bush isn't his main target. . . .
It is disturbing, he said, that 70 American senators last week signed a letter to Bush, initiated by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, calling on the president to "reevaluate all aspects of our relations" with the Palestinian Authority if the Islamic militant group Hamas becomes part of the Palestinian government. At the same time, Safieh said, it is encouraging that 30 senators did not sign.

Among those who did not sign were the Republican chairmen and ranking Democratic members of the two committees — Foreign Relations and Appropriations — that will play the most instrumental role in shaping America's relations with the P.A.
Well, that's very interesting. Not only does this new PLO envoy think it's okay for Hamas to be part of the PA government, he's open about it, and what's more, he's open about lobbying Washington toward this point of view.
In any event, Condi Rice shared the podium with Afif Safieh last night, and here's what she had to say:
Palestinians deserve to live better than they do and be "free of the humiliation of occupation" in a state of their own," said US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Wednesday night.

"I promise you my personal commitment to that goal," Rice said at a dinner marking the third anniversary of the American Task Force on Palestine.

"There could be no greater legacy for America," Rice told the group, which describes itself as nonpartisan and supportive of a Palestinian state living side by side with Israel.

"The Palestinian people deserve a better life ... free of the humiliation of occupation," she said.
The 'Palestinians' could have had their 'state' a long time ago, if that was what they really wanted. But it's not. The 'Palestinians' are only interested in destroying the Jewish state. They don't deserve a state, because they have yet to make the required choice to live permanently in peace in order to attain one. They don't deserve one for a whole lot of other reasons as well, but let's keep things simple for now. Let's fill in that last sentence which was chopped by Al-AP. Al-Reuters has the whole thing:
"The Palestinian people deserve a better life, a life that is rooted in liberty, democracy, uncompromised by violence and terrorism, unburdened by corruption and misrule and forever free of the daily humiliation of occupation."
The 'Palestinian' people (and I forever put that word in scare quotes because there is no such thing as a 'Palestinian' people) deserve nothing of the sort until they make the choices that people who want to live in peace make on a daily basis. They deserve nothing of the sort until they choose to live in peace with their neighbors, to stop using terrorism as a negotiating method, and to choose leaders who are honest and who will honestly attempt to advance their interests. Unless and until that happens, there is nothing to discuss with them. No matter how slick Afif Safieh might be.

Update 1:49 PM

Joshuapundit has more on the 'American Task Force on Palestine' here.


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