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Interview with Mitchell Bard pt 3
Interview with Mitchell Bard about the history of the Israeli Palestinian situation and negotiations.,INTERVIEWER:,What conditions have to be in place before you feel there can be hope for peace? ,02:52:02>>>,MITCHELL BARD:,Before there can be serious negotiations between Israel and Palestinians, there are going to have to be reforms in Palestinian authority. I think President Bush has got it exactly right. There has to be an end to the violence, you have to have a change in leadership, you have to have Democratic elections, transparent institutions, and a way that the moderate voices can come forward and have some real power in decision making. Whether the problem is that the moderate voices that you see and hear on American TV all the time, are not the people who have any authority in the Palestinian authority, itself. So, until there is that kind of reform, which the president has called for in his June speech, it's really unlikely that Israel will have anybody to negotiate, in terms of getting peace in - [OFF CAMERA COMMENTS] ,02:53:09>>>,The President of The United States has it exactly right in his proposals for moving the peace process forward, and calling for the reform of the Palestinian authority, a change in leadership. Until that happens, until you have transparent institutions, until you have democratic elections, the opportunity for moderate voices to be heard and to have positions of power, it's really unlikely that there will be a negotiating partner for the Israelis. To have a broader peace in the Middle East, is a much more difficult undertaking, because you are going to need a reform of Islam; a change in the views of the radical members of the fundamentalist community who believe in this motion of a Jihad, the end of the Jewish State, and the reconstitution of an Islamic Empire. Unless the most authentic versions of Islam, where this isn't viewed as the end goal are the more common place, are the ones that are supported in the Arab communities, it's going to be very difficult to have a comprehensive peace in the region. [OFF CAMERA COMMENTS] ,02:55:35>>>,Frequently you hear the charge that Israel is an expansionist power. Well it's remarkable that it's probably the only expansionist power in history that's consistently withdrawing from territory, and tried to reduce the size of its borders, which we saw with the 56' war, when Israel withdrew from territory captured from Egypt. We saw it again in 1967, after the war when Israel withdrew from the Sinai exchange for peace with Egypt. We saw it after the peace with Jordan, when Israel gave up some of the territory in Jordan. And, in fact, if you look at the territories were captured after the 67 war, roughly 92% of that territory has already been returned to Arab Partners For Peace. So that really, even if Israel were to withdraw from 100% territory, we're talking about only a small percentage, about 8% that's still in dispute. So, there really is a lot of territory involved in the negotiating process. , ,INTERVIEWER:,The Palestinians claim, hey, nine years after Oslo and still no state, and there's settlements abound. So maybe war is the only hope.,02:56:56>>>,MITCHELL BARD:,The Palestinians had a great opportunity through Oslo, to create an independent Palestinian state. They had certain obligations which they agreed to in a treat that they signed. And the problem is they failed to live up to them. That they didn't renounce terror, they didn't stop the violence, they didn't collect the illegal weapons, they didn't take a number of steps that were required, that they agreed to. They promised, themselves, in the Oslo Report, to make it possible to create an independent Palestinian state. And even half of that, they were given other opportunities in subsequent agreements, and in particular in negotiations with President Clinton, and Israeli Prime Minister Barak, to have a Palestinian state which would have been on at least 95% of the West Bank, 100% of The Gaza Strip. It would have given them a capitol in East Jerusalem. It would hav
2000s
Interview with Mitchell Bard about the history of the Israeli Palestinian situation and negotiations.,INTERVIEWER:,What conditions have to be in place before you feel there can be hope for peace? ,02:52:02>>>,MITCHELL BARD:,Before there can be serious negotiations between Israel and Palestinians, there are going to have to be reforms in Palestinian authority. I think President Bush has got it exactly right. There has to be an end to the violence, you have to have a change in leadership, you have to have Democratic elections, transparent institutions, and a way that the moderate voices can come forward and have some real power in decision making. Whether the problem is that the moderate voices that you see and hear on American TV all the time, are not the people who have any authority in the Palestinian authority, itself. So, until there is that kind of reform, which the president has called for in his June speech, it's really unlikely that Israel will have anybody to negotiate, in terms of getting peace in - [OFF CAMERA COMMENTS] ,02:53:09>>>,The President of The United States has it exactly right in his proposals for moving the peace process forward, and calling for the reform of the Palestinian authority, a change in leadership. Until that happens, until you have transparent institutions, until you have democratic elections, the opportunity for moderate voices to be heard and to have positions of power, it's really unlikely that there will be a negotiating partner for the Israelis. To have a broader peace in the Middle East, is a much more difficult undertaking, because you are going to need a reform of Islam; a change in the views of the radical members of the fundamentalist community who believe in this motion of a Jihad, the end of the Jewish State, and the reconstitution of an Islamic Empire. Unless the most authentic versions of Islam, where this isn't viewed as the end goal are the more common place, are the ones that are supported in the Arab communities, it's going to be very difficult to have a comprehensive peace in the region. [OFF CAMERA COMMENTS] ,02:55:35>>>,Frequently you hear the charge that Israel is an expansionist power. Well it's remarkable that it's probably the only expansionist power in history that's consistently withdrawing from territory, and tried to reduce the size of its borders, which we saw with the 56' war, when Israel withdrew from territory captured from Egypt. We saw it again in 1967, after the war when Israel withdrew from the Sinai exchange for peace with Egypt. We saw it after the peace with Jordan, when Israel gave up some of the territory in Jordan. And, in fact, if you look at the territories were captured after the 67 war, roughly 92% of that territory has already been returned to Arab Partners For Peace. So that really, even if Israel were to withdraw from 100% territory, we're talking about only a small percentage, about 8% that's still in dispute. So, there really is a lot of territory involved in the negotiating process. , ,INTERVIEWER:,The Palestinians claim, hey, nine years after Oslo and still no state, and there's settlements abound. So maybe war is the only hope.,02:56:56>>>,MITCHELL BARD:,The Palestinians had a great opportunity through Oslo, to create an independent Palestinian state. They had certain obligations which they agreed to in a treat that they signed. And the problem is they failed to live up to them. That they didn't renounce terror, they didn't stop the violence, they didn't collect the illegal weapons, they didn't take a number of steps that were required, that they agreed to. They promised, themselves, in the Oslo Report, to make it possible to create an independent Palestinian state. And even half of that, they were given other opportunities in subsequent agreements, and in particular in negotiations with President Clinton, and Israeli Prime Minister Barak, to have a Palestinian state which would have been on at least 95% of the West Bank, 100% of The Gaza Strip. It would have given them a capitol in East Jerusalem. It would have lead to the dismantling of more than a hundred settlements in the West Bank. All of the things that most Israelis thought that the Palestinians were fighting for. But they rejected those proposals. So, there are other options. ,02:58:11>>>,You hear frequently, people saying, they are turning to terror because of poverty, or because they have no other option. Well, the fact is they have other options. Here's one, negotiations. Go back to the negotiating table, end the violence. Another option is, nonviolence. It worked for Martin Luther King, it worked for Gandhi. Why haven't the Palestinians chosen that option? They simply made the strategic decision that terror would be their best opportunity for advancing their agenda to - at the very minimum, creating the Palestinian state in the West Bank. But ultimately, many of them hope to create one that replaces Israel. [OFF CAMERA COMMENTS] , , INTERVIEWER:,Let's talk about the Intifada. Was - what was the catalyst for that? Was there a catalyst? ,02:59:47>>> ,MITCHELL BARD:,There was no particular catalyst for the latest uprising in the Palestinians, in terms of a single incident. It was a strategic decision that the Palestinians made over the course of many months. And really crystallized after the negotiations failed between Yasser Arafat and Ehud Barak, and Bill Clinton, to use violence in a more extreme and prolific manner to try to move their agenda forward. The Palestinians have blamed the visit of Ariel Sharon to the Temple Mount, for the violence. But, in fact, the violence had started before this. ,And there really was no reason why a visit by an Israeli, during normal visiting hours, should have lead to an uprising which now has lasted more than two years. In fact, an independent commission led by an American, George Mitchell, found that Sharon's visit was not the cause of the uprising. It's really been a prolonged campaign, by the Palestinian authority, to try to force Israel to make concessions that they couldn't win at the bargaining table. , INTERVIEWER:,Why has this Intifada become so much more violent than the previous one in the 80's? They were, by and large - they were just throwing rocks. Now they're blowing, blowing people up. It's much become snipers and drive-by shootings, and all sorts of ways it escalated. ,03:01:32>>>, MITCHELL BARD:,The uprising, in the last two years, has been more violent than the earlier uprising in the 80's, for a number of reasons. First of all, the original uprising was pretty violent and there were suicide bombings back - as far back as that original uprising. But what's changed is the growing influence of the Islamic fundamentalists and their terror groups, which have placed a premium on martyrdom and the belief that by committing terrorist attacks, suicide bombings, you can go to paradise; a wonderful place in the hereafter. That, that wasn't as much the case in the earlier uprising. Also, the Palestinians believe that a precedent had been set when the - his ball of terrorists in Lebanon had mounted sufficient terrorist attacks on the Israeli military forces in Southern Lebanon to, in their view, force Israel to unilaterally withdraw. And that was seen as a precedent, and, by most of the Arab world, as a sign of Israeli weakness. That if you simply inflicted high enough casualties on Israel, that it would withdraw. ,03:02:40>>>,And there has been a belief, up till now, that if the Palestinian terrorist could inflict sufficient casualties on the Israeli civilian population, that the Israeli government would also unilaterally withdraw from the West Bank, and give the Palestinians everything that they wanted. They miscalculated because the West Bank isn't the same as Southern Lebanon. The Israeli citizens aren't willing to, simply, unilaterally withdraw with nothing to gain by it. And that they are willing to fight the terror wherever it is, and from whomever it comes, and despite the belief of the Palestinians that they're weak. , ,INTERVIEWER:,In some people, some of the peace - the peace mix in Israel, feel that, that's what should happen. Israelis should just pull out unilaterally. What do you think would happen? ,03:03:59>>>,MITCHELL BARD:,One option for Israel, to unilaterally withdraw, has become increasingly popular among the public. Not only with the left in Israel, but increasingly with the right. As the recognition has set in that there is no Palestinian partners to negotiate with, the unilateral withdraw is risky. Because it would involve sending a message to the Arab world that Israel may be driven back by violence, and it also would give the Palestinians a state on their side of the border, which would now be closer to the population of the industrial centers of Israel to threaten them. Israel wouldn't have its forces, in the territories, in place in order to perform counter intelligence, counter terrorism operations. ,03:04:54>>>,On the other hand, Israel isn't weak. Israel currently controls much of the West Bank, in an effort to protect the population. And if it chose to withdraw in the future, it wouldn't be doing so because it was driven out by terror, it would be doing so because it chose to do so, because it was in its own best interest. And it may be that once a fence is built along the new border, that Israel will be able to defend it, to use whatever measures are necessary to fight whatever terror might remain. But the hope would be that once Israel withdrew, to some new line, that a Palestinian state would emerge, and then it would be in their interest to keep the peace, then, rather than provoke Israel to return to the West Bank. [OFF CAMERA COMMENTS] ,03:05:56>>>,If the opportunity presented itself to, simply, place peace on their referendum, and ask Palestinians what they would like to do, if they would be prepared to live in peace next to Israel, I think, in all likelihood, you would see a majority vote to do just that; to have a Palestinian state living in peace beside Israel. But I think you would find the same on the Israeli side. In fact, that's been the case in Public Opinion Polls for years, in Israel. That there's a willingness to accept a Palestinian state that would live in peace beside Israel. The divisions come when you start getting into more of the details of what the state would look like, where it would be, what would happen to Jews living on one side of the border. But, Palestinian people, I believe, as is the case with the Israeli people, would really like to have peaceful lives. The problem on the Palestinian side has been a leadership that hasn't had the courage to make compromises and to be willing to accept a Palestinian state that would be in a part of the West Bank, and all of the Gaza Strip, living next to Israel instead of replacing Israel. , , INTERVIEWER:, Speculate, for a moment, if you will, if there was some analogous situation in a Western country, the United States, or England, or France, or Italy, or Spain - if there was the kind of civil unrest and disobedience that was going on, and the scale of what was going on in the Middle East, what would happen? ,03:07:34>>> ,MITCHELL BARD:,If the United States or another western power was faced with a kind of terrorism and unrest that Israel has been faced with over the last two years, I think you would expect a very harsh response. Much more serious, probably, than even Israel has been forced to use to protect its population. You've seen it already in the United States, since September 11th, when we were attacked just once on a single day. Albeit it was a very horrible day. The United States went to war against a country thousands of miles away. And we launched repeated attacks against terrorist targets as far away as Yamen, when we thought that we had the opportunity to kill, either people prepared to commit terrorist attacks against us, or who were in the past involved in terrorist attacks. ,So, for Israel, which is suffering, at least on a casualty basis, the equivalent of September 11th, almost every few weeks, the pressure is enormous to take very harsh measures to try to protect the civilian population. You sometimes hear people try to compare Israel's counter terrorist attacks with the Palestinian's acts of terror. And it's a really obscene kind of analogy, as though you were comparing an arsonist with a firefighter. When the arsonist, like a terrorist, sets the fire and then the firefighter comes in to put out the fire, you wouldn't say that the firefighter was morally equivalent to the arsonist. And yet, people have tried to suggest that when Israel fights against terror, it somehow is doing a similar kind of act as the terrorist themselves. It's simply not the case. [OFF CAMERA COMMENTS] ,You often have this game played, of numbers, where people say that more Palestinians have been killed, than Israelis, and therefore the Palestinian side is suffering more. Or that Israel is doing the same types of things as the Palestinians. And it's really not a question of numbers. It's a question of acts and intentions. That Israel doesn't set out to intentionally kill any civilians. In fact, it goes out of its way to try to prevent civilian casualties. There are numerous examples of how Israel has taken extreme measures, in some cases, to put its own soldiers at risk, rather than put more civilians in danger. And it's a tragedy when civilians are killed in any kind of counter terrorist attack. And Israel does everything possible to avoid it. ,On the other side, Palestinians are intentionally targeting civilians. That's the whole purpose of the terrorist, to try to kill as many civilians as possible. So it's a very difficult situation for Israel to defend itself against, because the terrorist, themselves, purposely hide among civilian populations. The civilians, themselves, are willing to shield terrorists, often. And the United States, and other countries have faced similar problems. The United States went after terrorists in Afghanistan, and inadvertently bombed a wedding, and killed dozens of civilians. It wasn't their intent, but no one is trying to compare the U.S. action, in going after the Al Qaeda, with the Al Qaeda terrorist, themselves. , INTERVIEWER:, Why is Israel, or the Israelis being held for such a double standard, when (Inaudible)? ,03:11:33>>>,MITCHELL BARD:,Israel sometimes seem to be held to a double standard. And Israelis, themselves, hold themselves to a higher standard. They do not want to kill any civilians. They believe in what they call the purity of arms, to have an army that operates in as moral a way as possible. And, unfortunately, especially in the media, there's a tendency to find fault with every Israeli action, not to make the kinds of distinctions between the act of terror and the counter terrorist. And you see, over and over again, a reference to Israel killing people when they are not setting out to kill anyone, whereas, the Palestinians, the terrorists, are deliberately targeting civilians. That's their whole purpose of their attacks. But it's very difficult for a liberal democracy, an open democracy like Israeli, to use the kinds of methods that might be more effective in a totalitarian state. ,For example, in Syria, when the president, then of Syria in 1982, had a problem with Moslem Fundamentalist Terrorists, he didn't arrest anybody, he didn't just kill the terrorists, he destroyed an entire city. He killed 20,000 people to put an end to his problems. Yasser Arafat has his own way of dealing with terrorism, or at least his opponent. And that is to arrest them, try them, and kill them. Sometimes he skips the first two steps and just strings them up on lamp posts. Israel doesn't do that. Israel seeks to arrest people and to try them. And there's a very big difference between that approach and that pursued by the Palestinians. [OFF CAMERA COMMENTS] , , INTERVIEWER:,The notion of a suicide bomber is unfathomable and unheard of in history. You know, the kamikazes, and suicide bombers (Inaudible). Kamikazes, you know, they go after military targets and so forth. How does this kind of thing happen? ,03:13:20>>>,MITCHELL BARD:,I wish there was a good explanation for suicide bombing. I don't think there is. It's an immoral and inexcusable act. We want to try to come to some analysis, understanding of why this might happen becomes, in part, from the belief of fundamentalist Moslems. And if they commit these acts in the name of Allah, that this will bring them some reward in the hereafter. That there are some people who, simply, are doing it because they believe it will advance their political cause. And by killing as many Israelis as possible, and especially civilians, it will inflict such a high cost on Israeli public. That they will demand their - that their leaders make some political concessions. And (Inaudible) seriously miscalculated, because Israeli people had just the opposite reaction that they, they hardened by these, these atrocities, and have supported their leader's efforts to take very tough measures to prevent these kinds of terrorist attacks. , , INTERVIEWER:,It's been said that Yasser Arafat is not a partner for peace. Is Ariel Sharon a partner for peace? Is he capable of making peace in Palestine? ,03:14:37>>>,MITCHELL BARD:,You often hear people criticize Ariel Sharon, and suggest that he is an obstacle, that he's unwilling and uninterested in peace. I think the basic answer is to test it. Test it. If you believe he is the butcher, the bake, the candlestick make who has done all of these terrible things, you have to put him to the test and say, we're going to stop the violence on the Palestinian side, we're going to sit at the negotiating table, we're going to talk about ways for us to live side by side in peace. ,And if Sharon does not respond to that, if Sharon does not present a peace proposal in response, everybody in the world will agree that he's an obstacle of peace. He will be criticized by everyone. And the people who will be most critical will be the Israeli public, themselves. And they'd throw him out of office in a second. Because the Israeli public is desperately seeking peace. And they're looking for a sign, on the Palestinian side, that they are committed to peace. So that if there is a genuine effort to live in peace, to end the violence, you're going to see, I believe, Ariel Sharon, respond with a positive response as he has already in presenting peace proposals in advance of the end of violence. Simply saying that, we can't negotiate those proposals until the terror stops. [OFF CAMERA COMMENTS] ,03:16:35>>>,The United States has a key role to play. The United States has a key role to play in the Middle East, in the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians, in particular. And it is the only country that is respected by both sides. Other nations like the Europeans and the UN, really have little to contribute, because they've historically been so one-sided in their support of the Palestinians, and in opposition to Israel, that it's very difficult for them to play kind of a positive role in Israel. The United States is always seen, by both sides, as an honest broker. And its main role is to support the negotiations between the two parties, so that they can directly negotiate between themselves. The United States can't come up with a peace plan that will be acceptable to all. In fact, the history is that whenever the United States proposes its own plan, it's rejected usually by both sides. So, the United States has to support the direct negotiation between the parties. It has to provide the diplomatic and financial, economic support, to allow Israel to feel that it can take risks for peace. That involves economic aide, it involves military aide, in terms of political support, so that Israelis will feel that when they sit down at the bargaining table, they can afford to make tough choices like withdrawing to parts of a territory, and not put their society at risk. , INTERVIEWER:,Why aren't the Arab governments, in their vast (Inaudible) resources to approve the, the plight of the Palestinians - ,03:19:38>>>, MITCHELL BARD:,The Arab states have long paid lip service to the Palestinian cause, but if you look, historically, at what they've actually done, it's been very little. They've confined Palestinian refugees to camps, they've often deported them from their borders, as in the case of Kuwait, after the Gulf War - deported hundred's of thousands of Palestinians, and hardly a word was said by anyone. The fact is that a Palestinian cannot become a citizen of any Arab state, except for Jordan. And even Jordan doesn't allow it anymore. There is very little sympathy for the Palestinians, beyond the politic rhetoric. There is support, however, for terrorist attacks. Saudi Arabia held a telethon to support the Palestinian terrorists, earlier in 2002. And Saddam Hussein, we know, supports the Palestinian terrorists by providing up to $25,000 for their families. So, in terms of providing financial incentives to terrorists, in terms of political statements, they've been very supportive. But in terms of doing anything to actually help their plight, they've done very little. , , INTERVIEWER:,The Palestinians say that the media is run by the Jewish ____ Establishment, and the - a lot of Jews, or some Jews say that the media is biased, pro-Palestinian. ,03:21:06>>>,MITCHELL BARD:,If there's one subject on which, probably, Palestinians and Israelis, and American Jews, and Arab Americans all agree, it's that the media is biased. Although each side thinks it's more biased against them. I think that if you look, objectively, at it, there's certainly a bias. And it would be, most likely, toward the Palestinian and Arab side, and for some good reasons. The main reason is that Israel is an open, liberal democracy. ,And if you want to read criticism of Israel, all you have to do is open any Israeli newspaper, any day of the week, and you'll read criticism galore of Israeli policies. But you won't read similar kinds of criticism of the Arab countries, because those are all totalitarian dictatorship's, that mostly control their own press. Or you won't see a Peter Jennings, or a Dan Rather, or a Tom Brokaw reporting Live from Riydah, Saudi Arabia, or Damascus, Syria, or Cairo, Egypt. Those societies aren't talking to them. So that, you're not going to see the negative side of most of the Arab states in the media. Whereas, in Israel it's very easy for a reporter to get negative information, or to give a negative report. So, to that degree, there is a built in kind of biased that makes it very difficult for Israel to get even handed coverage. [OFF CAMERA COMMENTS] ,03:23:21>>>,MITCHELL BARD:,The United States has a unique relationship with Israel, that goes back many decades, even before the State of Israel existed, to relationship between the American people and political leaders, and early Zionists. Because of the belief in the return of the Jewish people to their homeland, because of values that the two nations share, democracy, openness, freedom of speech, freedom of press, and other freedoms, a shared Judeo, Christian heritage, also a shared interest. That the United States and Israel share a view of the importance of Middle East stability, and a fight against those forces that are opposing western democracy, such as communism, during the days of the Cold War, and radical fundamentalism, today. Also, threats like Saddam Hussein, who pose a danger, not just to Israel but to the region and to the United States, by extension, because of its weapons of mass destruction. So that there is a longstanding and important alliance that cements the peoples of the United States and Israel, and helps guide the relationships between them, through good times and in bad. , , INTERVIEWER:,Please go through your myths and facts, your top ten, as it relates to this (Inaudible). [OFF CAMERA COMMENTS] ,03:25:33>>>,MITCHELL BARD:,We often hear people say that the Jews suddenly showed up one day in Palestinian and stole the land from the native population. There's a misunderstanding about the long history of the Jewish people, with the land of Israel, dating back to the view of observant Jews, and promised by God to Abraham, and simply historical, political terms, the presence of the Jewish people for a ____ the land of Israeli. And in political terms, in the existence of a Jewish state, that existed for hundred's of years, before foreign conquerors drove the Jews out of the territory. [OFF CAMERA COMMENTS] , , INTERVIEWER:,The notion of refugee, I mean the term refugee, to my understanding, was redefined solely for the Palestinians, and for their status which doesn't apply to any other refugees before, you know, 1948 and since. Is that true? ,03:27:32>>>,MITCHELL BARD:,I don't know the answer. I know what you're talking about, but I can't answer it. [OFF CAMERA COMMENTS] One of the key issues in the negotiations is the status of Jerusalem. And it's important to look at Jerusalem from a variety of perspectives. If you think about it, this really demonstrates how the Arab/Israeli conflict is not about politics, alone, it's really geography, it's politics, it's history, it's religion. It's all of those things wrapped up into one. And it really is a microcosm of the entire Arab/Israeli conflict, because in Jerusalem, if it was just a political issue, you would simply say, most of the Jews live on one side, and most of the Arabs live in East Jerusalem, we draw a line in between, that's it, we're done, we settle it. But you can't do that. Why? , Well, because the Pope in Rome says, I want to sit in Jerusalem because of the trip to the Holy Sepulchre, and Christian holy sites. And you have the Mullahs in Iran, saying, no we want to stay in Jerusalem because of the Al AksaMosque (Inaudible). You have Jews in Chevy Chase, Maryland, say, no we want to stay in Jerusalem because of the western wall, the holiest spot in Judaism. All of those places are literally on top of each other. The Temple Mounts literally on top of them, the Western Wall, and the Church of The Holy Sepulchre around the corner. How do you divide those up? You can't really do it. There's also the history involved. Israel saw what happened when foreign powers controlled Jerusalem. From 48', to 1967, Jordan controlled Jerusalem. They desecrated the Jewish holy places, Jews weren't allowed to visit the Western Wall, or the other holy places. Even Israeli Christians weren't allowed to visit. The Jordanians desecrated the Mount Olive Cemetery, and other holy spots, and Israelis aren't going to allow that to happen again. You hear all the time, people say, well Jerusalem has to be free and accessible to people of all faiths. Well, that's only been true once in history, since Israel captured the city in 1967. Now it is free and accessible to all. ,03:29:47>>>,So, the question is, can you reach a solution in which Jerusalem is shared? Where Palestinians can have their demand for Jerusalem as a capitol, and Israel can have its demand ____ its own unified capitol. Perhaps, Ehud Barak offered one solution, that is to give Arab East Jerusalem to the Palestinian state. But most Israelis, as well as the Palestinians themselves, rejected that idea. Most Israelis thought that was going too far, and Palestinians thought it didn't go far enough. Another proposal was to give a suburb of Jerusalem, called Abu Dis, to the Palestinians and make that their capitol. They could say, our capitol is in Jerusalem. They wouldn't have to say Abu Dis. And the Israelis would keep the rest of Jerusalem for themselves. It's not perfect but it's a compromise; that the Israelis would keep what they really care about, the old city and the new city, the Palestinians would still have a capitol in Jerusalem. It's risky though, because even though Abu Dis is a suburb and it's not far from Jerusalem, it's literally a stone throw away, and would be threatening. , From the Palestinian perspective, it's not perfect either, because they prefer to see the flag of Palestinian flying over the Temple Mount in the Old City. But it's a conceivable compromise. So, Jerusalem is one issue of which all of the various aspects of the conflict all come together as one, and show how difficult it is to resolve peacefully.[OFF CAMERA COMMENTS RE: WATER] [END OF INTERVIEW
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