CONTROVERSY OVER ASSASSINATIONS IN MIDDLE EAST
GILLIAN FINDLAY CS VO ON CONTROVERSY IN MIDDLE EAST AFTER AN EXPLOSION KILLED SIX MEMBERS OF PALESTINIAN PRESIDENT YASIR ARAFAT'S POLITICAL ORGANIZATION
WHAT NOW FOR MIDDLE EAST PEACE? (11/06/1995)
PRESIDENT CLINTON LED AN EXTRAORDINARY DELEGATION OF U.S. LEADERS TO ISRAEL SUNDAY TO MOURN THE DEATH OF PRIME MINISTER YITZHAK RABIN. CLINTON WAS ACCOMPANIED ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE BY FORMER PRESIDENTS CARTER AND BUSH AND A HOST OF CABINET OFFICERS, CONGRESS MEMBERS AND CIVIC LEADERS. IN ADDITION TO LEADERS OF THE UNITED STATES, HUNDREDS OF OTHER WORLD LEADERS ARE HEADING TO ISRAEL FOR THE FUNERAL. NOW THAT RABIN'S DRIVING FORCE IS GONE, U.S. LEADERS ARE WONDERING WHAT WILL BECOME OF THE MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS. SENIOR WHITE HOUSE ADVISOR GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS THINKS THE ASSASSINATION OF RABIN COULD LEAVE ISRAEL AND ITS PEACE PROCESS WITH A GLOOMY OUTLOOK.
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TODAY IN HISTORY - NOVEMBER
Qatar: the global and the malaise
France 5
Europe Middle East Protest
Pro Palestinian and Israelis demos in Brussels and Berlin
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Interview with Jabril Mamoud al Rajoub
Interview conducted with Jabril Rajoub,00:00:00>>>,Q: (Introduce yourself),JABRIL RAJOUB: Jabril Mamoud(?) al Rajoub.,Q: (And your title),RAJOUB: I am member of the Revolutionary Council of Fatah. ,Q: (Where were you born),RAJOUB: I was born in a village near Hebron, (INAUD) in 14th of May '53. ,Q: (Your first experience with Israeli occupation),RAJOUB: I was arrested on the 3rd of December '68, I was then fifteen years and four months for I was arrested for...about five months. ,Q: (What were you arrested for),RAJOUB: I was arrested because an Israeli accused me that I was uh, I...I...assisted some people who were wanted for Israelis. ,Q: (When did you join),RAJOUB: I joined Fatah in September '69. ,Q: (Ever since you've been a member),00:02:34>>>,RAJOUB: Since then I have been a member of Fatah. During this period I was arrested many times. Second time I was arrested in 1970 for a few weeks. Then I was released, re-arrested December ‘70, till May '85. Then I was released in prisoners of war exchange 20th of May '85, then re-arrested in 18th of November '85, released in June '86, re-arrested in September of '86, released March '87, re-arrested December '87, deported January '88 to Lebanon to Tunis and I came back on 17th of May '94 and I was appointed as the chief of the preventive security on the West Bank until last July. ,Q: (Did you believe in the Oslo agreements),RAJOUB: Yeah, I think that I did believe for this reason, I supported this agreement. I think that Oslo was rational breakthrough in the dilemma between ourselves and the Israelis. ,Q: (You still support Oslo),RAJOUB: Listen, first of all you should know that I was one of the loyal and faithful Palestinian fighters, and for me fighting never was an end. It was a mean. As the...target for me was not to kill people or to cause suffering or to suffer being arrested, so I think the end for me and the target was once to live in peace and to make peace and peace you make with enemies. I think that the only way for Palestinian people and for the Israelis to assure secured stability in this reality is to make peace. And making peace means that there should be some kind of compromise. As for this reason I think that the majority of the Palestinian people uh, do recognize Israel as a matter of fact on the ground, the existence of Israel, uh, and I think that the problem till Oslo was the Israelis who did not recognize the existence of the Palestinian people. As when the late prime minister of Israel Rabin who recognized the existence, the very existence of the Palestinian people, I think it was uh, a right step on the right direction. ,Q: (A golden age of Oslo),00:05:40>>>,RAJOUB: Listen first of all, you know a person like me who suffered - I spent about seventeen years in Israeli jails. And I know the meaning of war and the meaning of blood shedding and killing and suffering. As for the decision I think that peace for me was uh, very important. I do believe that during the first two years there was good cooperation, good coordination, because the Palestinian people and the Palestinian leadership did feel that they have a partner on the other side, first. Second, and I think also this partner did deal with the Palestinian leadership with respect. ,Q: (What happened after),RAJOUB: I think since Netanyahu came to the regime, uh, he had one target, how to undermine this process of reconciliation between the Palestinians and the Israelis.,Q: (After the Barak Camp David accords broke down),00:06:52>>>,RAJOUB: Listen, I think that the process of undermining and destroying the uh, this system of reconciliation started by the assassination of Rabin. Uh, when Netanyahu became prime minister from the first moment he started to work on this direction, then he exploded the whole situation by the tunnel in Jerusalem. The Americans, Clinton, tried to contain the reaction and I think that the Americans existed in opposition to Netanyahu to contain and to renew the...the channels and the talks and the dialog with the P.A. and they succeeded. And then Barak, I think that Barak tried to renew the channels, to renew the hope, for both peoples uh, maybe for his own reasons Barak did not succeed to bridge the gap. And maybe for his own internal problems he did not have the...enough time to renew the hope for both peoples but I think that Barak got very important marks on the road of reconciliation. ,Q: (Why the offer led to more Intifada) ,RAJOUB: First of all, Barak did not make a good or bad offer. The good offer is the offer that meet the Palestinian National aspirations. I think that Barak has no right, not Barak nor anyone else has the right to dictate what to offer and what not to offer. As you said that we accepted to live in twenty-two percent of the history of Palestine according to international legitimacy. I do believe that either Mr. Barak or any other prime minister if he has the courage to say listen, I am committed to peace accord, security council resolutions, believe me the Palestinians would meet the Israelis on the...the...the whole issues or controversial issues that connected to the future of both peoples. But you see as if Mr. Barak did something positive for the Palestinians this is unfair, Mr. Barak as I said made good marks on the road but I don't think that Mr. Barak was ready to do everything in order to assure a good package deal for both sides. ,Q: (What were most harmful actions of Israeli government in last two years),RAJOUB: I think that uh, the Israelis who started this unilateral war against the Palestinian people and I think that the way that the Israelis are dealing and treating the Palestinians during the last two years since they started the assassination, the closure, and so on, I think that it was a crazy policy. You can not distinguish between one step and another but the whole policy was crazy and whole policy is a destructive one. ,Q: (Were there mistakes on both sides),00:10:43>>>,RAJOUB: Listen, I myself, I think that we should have some kind of self criticism. We did make some mistakes and I think that militarizing the Intifada was a big mistake. I do believe also that involving some individuals of the security services was a mistake, I think that sometimes we did not behave as responsible authority within areas which was under our jurisdiction, was a mistake. I think also the whole series of terror attacks against Israeli civilians in the inside Israel was a big mistake. I think also that some Palestinians did not get the message of eleventh of September, was a mistake. I think that those mistakes uh, the Palestinians should recognize. But he who is responsible for the whole process of escalation during the last period I think were the Israelis. And I was one of those who paid a lot for the sake of assuring peace, security, reconciliation, between both sides. I do believe that the...all the time the...the ball was in the Israeli court, because the Israelis who can deliver more than the Palestinians in order to assure stability and security. ,Q: (Do you believe the Israelis want to rule over the Palestinians),RAJOUB: I think some Israelis are thinking this way, but I do believe most of Israel is looking for peace and for living in security. The Israeli problem is the issue of security and I think that the key for the security...their security is in our hands. Some of their demagogue leaders are trying to convince them that through the I.D.F and through this war they can assure security, sooner or later I think that the Israeli people will conclude that conclusion and understand that the key of their security is on the hands of the Palestinians who are ready to give this key if the Israelis once more to recognize the existence of the Palestinian people as their neighbors. And to recognize the fact is the...is that the solution, two states for two peoples. This is the only way for both sides. ,Q: (How do you mean key to security is in hands of Palestinians),00:13:34>>>,RAJOUB: I think that we are living under Israeli occupation. We are facing the worst kind of terror which is the occupation, the settlements, the humiliation that every Palestinian is facing everywhere in the occupied territories. And I think that removing this situation and enabling the Palestinian people for self-determination, building their own state, I think that such a way and this is the only mean for the Israelis to convince the pal...the Palestinian people to assure uh, security for them. Because during the first two years, when the Palestinian people did feel that there is a hope for their future I think that the Israelis did feel secure, in our areas more than Tel Aviv.,Q: (What is the magical formula),RAJOUB: I think this is very simple. The Israeli government should recognize the facts on the ground. West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza Strip, was occupied by the Israelis in '67. The whole international community is pushing toward evacuating those areas from the Israelis and enabling the Palestinian people to build their own state, peaceful state, as I think that the Israelis should start by recognizing this fact. Then we are ready for everything. We do...we do understand their concern about the...the security and about other issues which I think the Palestinian people and the Palestinian leadership, I'm pretty sure, they are ready to meet their concerns. ,Q: (Do they have the power to ensure security),RAJOUB: According to my own experience I think that during the last...the first two or three years everything was okay, for the Israelis themselves, and I think they do recognize this as a matter of fact. But uh, what... I do believe that the majority of the Palestinian are looking for having their own Palestinian independent state and everybody knows the...the...the...what they should pay for that. What they should deliver for that. As for this reason, I think that the Palestinian people have the motivation and the reason to control their society, the people, and I do believe that most of the political factions among the Palestinians are looking for this target, and they do understand what they should do in order to reach this end. ,Q: (How can they control escalation),RAJOUB: Nothing. Nothing. We can not do anything to...to at the time being as long as the Israelis are reoccupying our areas, assassinating the closure, the curfews, I don't think that we can do anything more than a statement denouncing or denouncing this or that act. ,Q: (Does the martyr's brigade speak for Fatah),RAJOUB: You know listen, I think that the people of Al Aksa Brigades, you know appeared after the...appeared after the dis...disappointment, the frustration among the whole Palestinian society, including Fatah. Everybody should recognize that without the Fatah support, uh, neither the PLO nor the Israelis could make any progress during the first six years of the Oslo process. Through the support of Fatah, with the assistance of the people of Fatah, who work day and night in order to assure a positive atmosphere for the Israelis and for the Palestinians, those people who became frustrated and disappointed, I think that they reacted by...this way but I do believe that till now, if Fatah could control those groups, I don't think that this is the problem. Which we are...I mean we will face in the future. ,Q: (Do you have personal contact with individual Israelis),RAJOUB: Listen, I think that some...some Israelis in the past whom we dealt with, I do believe that they were loyal to the principle of assuring reconciliation with the Palestinian people, those individuals and those people loyal...all of them I do respect till now, with some of them sort of I had personal contacts. ,Q: (Clarify the boat with arms),00:19:43>>>,RAJOUB: I think that the...all the Palestinian people are looking for peace and security and I do believe that all of the Palestinian people were against the events of September terror attacks against the Americans. And I'm not saying this as some kind of lip service. I think this is for me as a matter of principle and I think that this is for most of the Palestinian people. I do believe that and recognize that the Palestinian people, the Palestinian Authority were not with the legal of the Israeli propaganda in the states. The Jewish communities influence in the states, and I think that Mr. Bush made a big mistake by criticizing the Palestinian people and the Palestinian Authority and trying to push us in the corner following the 11th of September. He should not, and I do not think he has any reason to blame the Palestinian people for what is going on. Uh, the infrastructure of terror and terrorism is in the Israeli occupation. The cancer is the Israeli occupation. I hope that Mr. Bush will recharge his mental batteries, reconsider his views, his concerns toward the Palestinian people and toward the...the...the whole conflict in order to protect the American interests in the Middle East because I do believe that this conflict and the Israeli occupation is a threat for the whole regional for the whole regional stability. ,Q: (The Mitchell report called for a cease fire),RAJOUB: First of all, you know we did accept Mitchell report and we did accept also in it proposal and I think that he who should start the first step are the Israelis. Uh, and I do believe that this...this Israeli government has no intention to freeze the settlements. On the contrary, Mr. Sharon is trying to expand existing settlements and he's trying to build new ones as I do believe that if both sides have the good intentions, we can make business together. But he who should start the first step are the Israelis. Israelis should stop their aggressions, should end their curfews on the closures of the Palestinian cities, believe me that we have the interest and we have the wish and we have the motivation to start or to restart building confidence with the other side. ,Q: (Can you see a peace),00:23:22>>>,RAJOUB: Listen, as uh, a freedom fighter, from the first moment I had two beliefs. The first one is that our revolution will assure victory sooner or later. The second thing is that with those Israelis we will make peace. We will make a deal once uh, as I think after the Oslo experience and after the last nine years of experience uh, good experience and bad experience, I think that this belief that the end is to have a deal uh, sooner or later. But the sooner is the better for both sides, we will have the same deal. Which we may...could have it easily twenty years ago. But the question is, how much price are we going to pay, both sides, the Israelis can not dictate their expansionist policies on the whole world, the Americans, the Europeans, the Arabs, the Palestinians, and I do believe that the Israelis will understand that the only way is to end their occupation. This is the key for everything. But from our side, all the time, if I hadn't this feeling and this wish and this hope, I think that I should have been somewhere else. ,Q: (How much will it take to re-establish security services),RAJOUB: Listen, I think it's up to the Israelis. The Israeli good intentions. The Israeli cooperation. The Israeli readiness to enable us to rebuild the security services, but I think that having such an agreement or understanding is better than having nothing. Because both of us are in a vicious circle, a circle of violence, a circle of blood shedding and having such commitment I think then with good intentions, I'm pretty sure that it's a matter of limited time we can achieve such a target. ,Q: (What about Jerusalem),00:26:15>>>,RAJOUB: Jerusalem is...was occupied by the Israelis. The Israelis have no rights to decide to annex, to do anything in the whole occupied territories. For the Jews, as Jews, if they have some shrines or places in East Jerusalem like the Wailing Wall, I think that they have the right to have accesses to go, to visit, to pray, and to do everything. But East Jerusalem was occupied by the Israelis, no Palestinian leader could sign any kind of agreement without having East Jerusalem as a capital of the state of Palestine. ,Q: (How will war in Iraq effect the plight of the Palestinian people),RAJOUB: First of all, I hope that they can find a peaceful settlement for this crisis in Iraq. But I do believe that such a war will make drastic change in the whole political map in the Middle East. ,Q: (Elaborate),RAJOUB: I don't think I should explain more. But everybody could understand the anger, the reaction... ,Q: (The war in the region could be very dangerous),RAJOUB: I think that the Americans should concentrate their efforts on their interests in the Middle East, and their interests will never be protected without adopting a clear cut policy about the Israeli occupation, the Israeli cancer, the Israeli threat for this regeional stability. The double standard policy of the Americans I think it's a threat for their interests and I think that it's a threat for the whole regional stability. ,Q: (Do Fatah and Hamas have same agenda),00:28:57>>>,RAJOUB: No, I think that it's unfair. First of all, Fatah has a secular political movement till now, Fatah has the majority of the Palestinian people. I think that the backbone of the Palestinian political factions are against any kind of terror attacks against civilians, whether those civilians are Israelis or not Israelis. This was a matter of principle during the period that we did support an arms struggle but we had some individuals, frustration, disappointment, I don't want to justify who did such terror attacks, but I think that most of the Palestinian people condemn it and are against those means, because I don't think that we can use such means in order to assure any political target. This is not the right way, and I think that most of the Palestinian people are thinking the same way. ,Q: (You do believe peace is possible),RAJOUB: Listen, as a revolutionary, I was born optimistic. Sooner or later we will have a package deal with Israelis. The sooner is the better for both sides, believe me. I say package deal...we will have it this year or after ten years. But the...the...for...the benefit of both sides, let us have it today, because just the difference is the price that both...both sides are going to pay, suffering, killing, blood shedding. ,Q: (Anything else),RAJOUB: I don't know it. ,(ROOM TONE),(END OF INTERVIEW WITH JARRIL RAJOUB)
Interview with Dennis Ross pt 1
Interview with Dennis Ross, envoy for Pres. Clinton and head of Policy Planning for George H. Bush In '91. Re: Oslo Agreement, Rabin, Shamir, Arafat, Netanyahu and Barak ,01:07:51>>>, DENNIS ROSS:,I can certainly spell my name, -I'm actually quite good at that. It's Dennis Ross. D-e-n-n-i-s-, R-o-s-s. I'm the Director of The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. And I have been here since I left the government, where I was the American negotiator in the Middle East. , INTERVIEWER:,You were the negotiator through several administrations. (Inaudible) ,01:08:18>>>, DENNIS ROSS:,Well, I was the, I was the envoy during the Clinton Administration, both terms. I was the - what I would say - I was the head of Policy Planning, in the President Bush 91' Administration. And in that role, I had the lead responsibility for shaping what we did towards Arab/Israeli issues. But if you were going to identify a negotiator in the Bush Administration, it was Secretary Baker. , INTERVIEWER:,You were with Aaron Miller, and - you were on Baker's team in the Middle East. ,01:08:50>>>, DENNIS ROSS:,Yeah. I led that team. And Miller was on the team, and Aaron was my deputy throughout the Clinton Administration. And Dan Kurtzer was on that team for, for part of the time. , INTERVIEWER:,Can you describe, briefly, your perception of the change in the Israeli readiness for peace, and readiness for compromise? Show me your days, and when you were facing Israel under (Inaudible). ,01:09:18>>>, DENNIS ROSS:,Well it was a revolution in attitudes. During Shamir's tenure as Prime Minister, Shamir operated on a premise that every action you took was, by definition, risk. It would impose risk. And not taking actions, were not seen by him as also risky. In other words, he always saw the risk of every action, but he never saw the risk of inaction. He always felt that sooner or later something would come along to save you. So he would talk about his commitment to pursuing peace, because he was, in fact, not exactly enthusiastic about doing so. ,And when we were able to get to Madrid, in no small part we were able to get to Madrid, because we got a yes from _____, first, and then Shamir felt that he had to prove that he was also up to being able to negotiate. , INTERVIEWER:,Actually, in the peace process that was famous for having been - ____ actually began working for the Shamir Administration in 91'. ,01:10:15>>>, DENNIS ROSS:,Absolutely. The Madrid - what the Madrid Conference did, is end the - break the taboo on direct talks between Arabs and Israelis. When Egypt made peace with Israel, in 1979, he didn't break that taboo. Because, at least for a period of time Egypt was isolated by the rest of the Arab world. The taboo stayed in place. You couldn't have direct negotiations between Israel and its neighbors; Egypt, the United States, throughout the 1980's, tried to broker different ways to create a basis for negotiations. But what Madrid did is it broke that taboo, and it made it legitimate to talk, sit directly, with Israel, if you were an Arab country. So the real peace process begins with the launching of the Madrid Conference. Not because suddenly you have a negotiation that is serious, but you have a negotiation at all. , INTERVIEWER:,What was the revolution at Oslo? ,01:11:11>>>, DENNIS ROSS:,The real revolution is, I think, a function of attitude, but also crossing the threshold to deal directly with the Palestinians. During Shamir's time, he wanted to have a dialogue with Palestinians from the territories. And if, in fact, he had been willing to have a serious dialogue with them, and empower them, and in a sense have them become authentic and authoritative because they could deliver, he might well have been able to deal with someone other than Yasser Arafat. It was not absolutely a given that Yasser Arafat would be the partner, especially after The Gulf War, when his standing was quite low. I mean, he was isolated, he was alone. The Gulf States wanted nothing to do with him. So, in fact, his vulnerability was such that it's conceivable that you might have had an alternative to him. ,01:11:56>>>,Shamir's big mistake was he - when we finally got to negotiations with the Palestinians, he engaged in behaviors that basically undercut them - showed that they couldn't change the kind of behaviors that were being carried out by the Israeli government, that most Palestinians found very difficult to live with. And settlement activity didn't go down, it went up. House confiscations and demolitions didn't go down, they went up. So rather than being able to change the realities within which Palestinians live, which might have built the authority, and weight, the Palestinians that the Israeli government, under Shamir was dealing with, he basically undercut them, and left very little choice, except to deal with the PLO. ,01:12:38>>>,What Rabin did, is cross that threshold. But obviously, in crossing the threshold, he did it, not only because he wanted to be able to deal with authoritative Palestinians, what he also felt was that there was a historic moment where you could settle his conflict. And that's what he was about. That's how he defined himself. This was his second go around as Prime Minister. He had been Prime Minister after the 1973 war. This was his chance, twenty years later, to really produce. And he felt an obligation, as the generation of founders of Israel, to pass on to the next generation what would be a situation of peace. That was an important motivation. But there was one other fact that was a motivation. ,01:13:18>>>,Rabin was a strategist, and he always thought in broader, strategic terms. And he looked at what he felt was a confluence of circumstances that made peace making, at this point, much more likely to succeed, because you have the extremists after The Gulf War, in decline. You have moderates in the Arab World, in the ascendancy. You have those who could present a threat from a distance, meaning Iraq and Iran. Also at that point, certainly in the case of Iraq, at a point where they were not really capable of offering much of a threat or presenting much of a threat, but he looked down the road, five or ten years from this particular period, and he said, if we don't take advantage of this moment, we may find later on the threat we face is much more acute. ,So, there was a strategic imperative from Rabin's standpoint, a well as, in some ways, I would suspect a moral imperative. Because he felt an obligation as Prime Minister, to pass something on to the next generation. , INTERVIEWER:,You worked closely with President Clinton, at that time. What was his sense and his hope, his high hopes for the Oslo Agreement. What kind of hope and (Inaudible) in your administration? ,01:14:28>>>, DENNIS ROSS:,I think that President Clinton, when you have this threshold crossed, when you have the September 13th, 1993 handshake at the White House, President Clinton saw this, not only as a historic threshold that had been crossed, he saw it as an indication that these two sides, the Israelis and the Palestinians, who were seen as the core of the conflict in the Middle East, not the sum total of the conflict, but the core of it, that they, in fact, were able to talk peace. And we were, we were no longer in an era of diplomacy through denial, we are now in an era of diplomacy through bargaining. And I think he thought, look, if we're - in a period where we're talking about how you reach deals, it's only a matter of time. And he became convinced that you would see an end to the Arab-Israeli conflict during his tenure as President. , INTERVIEWER:,Do you think that was a somewhat realistic hope, given the situation and what happened? ,01:15:24>>>, DENNIS ROSS:,Well, I think that hope was - I think it was realistic, at the time, from the following standpoint; you had had Israelis and Palestinians living in a world of mutual rejection and denial. And suddenly you're taking the, the imagery of rejection, and replacing it with recognition. And recognition and the commitment to resolve the conflict of peaceful means, the renunciation of terror and violence which was part of Arafat's letter to Rabin on September 9th, 1993, that opened the way for the recognition of the Israelis to the PLO. All of this suggested that we are in a new world. And given the outlines of the declaration of principals, that was concluded between the Israelis and the Palestinians, everything that needed to be there for a broad road map to get from where we were, to an eventual conclusion, was there. ,01:16:20>>>,Now, what was also there, were all sorts of big holes and big question marks, which suggested that you were going to have to have very difficult negotiations. But you'd had a revolution in psychology. So, with the revolution in psychology, that certainly made it seem possible, that you might be able to create a revolution on the ground, and ensure that peace making would no longer be only theoretical. , INTERVIEWER:,Was there a sense, not only - you talked about the change on the Israeli's side, can you talk more about the commitment on the Palestinian side (Inaudible) resolved in negotiations? All these new statements, on his part. Do you see a new Palestinian (Inaudible)? ,01:17:00>>>, DENNIS ROSS:,Well certainly, in the commitments that Arafat made, which were in writing. What they suggested was that the PLO had gone through what was a fundamental departure. It had transformed who it was. It was now going to pursue in an explicit, open process, a negotiation with Israel. What the mutual recognition meant, from the Palestinian standpoint, was they accepted Israel's right to be there. That's what recognition meant. And the Israelis, in a sense, at least implicitly, accepted that the agenda of the PLO, which was statehood, was also going to be the end of the process. In effect the trade that was - if you look at the essence of what was being discussed first in the Declaration of Principals, and then in every interim agreement that succeeded it - there was a basic trade. It wasn't land for peace, it was security for peace. , INTERVIEWER:,We interviewed Palestinian negotiators for this. And they all said something similar which was that, this would have worked, it was this close to working had it not been for the Netanyahu Administration of 96'. That Netanyahu had somehow been so fundamental a policy change, that it just killed the peace agreement, peace process. Yet, you've negotiated deals, even during the administration. , DENNIS ROSS:,True. , INTERVIEWER:,How do you respond to the accuracy of that? ,01:18:24>>>, DENNIS ROSS:,I do think there is an element here that has to be considered. During Prime Minister Netanyahu's period, you had a three-year period where the process clearly slowed down. What was supposed to be the beginning of permanent status negotiations in 1996, didn't take place until after Barak was Prime Minister. And even when he was Prime Minister, they didn't begin right away. So there was a period where we lost time. And Palestinians, during this time, saw what was an Oslo Process that was supposed to produce the end of Israeli occupation, the end of Israeli control, they saw it being cemented in this time. Many Palestinians on the street came to believe that the process was really a sham process, because it wasn't producing what it was supposed to produce. So, from that standpoint, I think it's fair to say that cynicism about the process, among Palestinians, anger about the process among Palestinians went up during this period. And the loss of time was significant. ,01:19:20>>>,It was also significant for one other reason; two very prominent Arab leaders who might well have felt a special responsibility for Jerusalem, and who were not shy about being prepared to weigh in, and could have, in effect, I believe, put pressure on Arafat on the Jerusalem issue, both died. We lost King Hussein, and we lost King Hassad of Morocco. So, time, from that standpoint, may have cost us something very profound. Now, having said all that, it also leaves out one important factor. You know, Netanyahu never would have become Prime Minister in the aftermath of the assassination, if it weren't for Hamas and Jihad bombs, in nine days, at the end of February and beginning of March. If Yasser Arafat had been doing what he was supposed to do, in terms of insuring that they would not be a threat, he wouldn't have had those four bombs in nine days, you would have had Shimon, Shimon Peres elected in the shadow of an assassination, which gave him really a kind of unassailable quality, until the four bombs in nine days came along. ,01:20:24>>>,And so, in effect, when you say, you lost three years because of Netanyahu, the fact of the matter is, you would have had Shimon Peres representing the fulfillment of the Rabin legacy, and with a mandate committed to fulfilling that legacy. Except that doesn't happen, because you have terrorist bombings. And when Shimon Peres, in January of 1996 (before the bombing), meets with Yasser Arafat and says, you have to do something about Mohammed Deif who is the chief bomb maker, organizer of the Izzedine al Qassam Brigade for the Hamas in Gaza. And he says, you gotta do something about Mohammed Deif, to Arafat, in a meeting with the security people of both sides. And Arafat says, who's Deif, I don't know Deif?,01:21:12>>>,So, the notion that somehow it's - because Netanyahu comes in and you lose three years, tends to ignore the reality that Yasser Arafat could have done something about the threat that Hamas posed, and didn't do anything until after the four bombs in nine days. After the four bombs, which basically discredited Peres, then he cracked down. He did, seriously, crack down. Probably his most profound and systematic crackdown, at any point throughout the process. But he did it after the four bombs. ,01:21:42>>>,Now, I know, from a number of Palestinians, who were telling him in advance of this, you know, these guys are building up their strength and at some point they're gonna act, we have to do something. And he didn't. So, I would say, when we look from a historical standpoint, it is true that the three years of Netanyahu, I think, did create a sense of cynicism and doubt among Palestinians, about the worth of the process, at the level of the street. And it did cost us two significant Arab leaders who, for very different reasons, felt they had a responsibility for Jerusalem. King Mohammed, because he could trace his lineage to the prophet, and because he headed the Jerusalem Committee, of the organization of Is- of the Islamic Organization of States. And King Hussein, because he too could trace his lineage to the prophets, and felt a special linkage to Jerusalem - in fact, he had paid for the renovations on the Dome of Rock himself. ,01:22:40>>>,These were two leaders who were prepared to do something about Jerusalem. And I think had they been there, you might well have seen a very different posture on that issue, which could have effected the negotiations. But they were gone, and that's one of the consequences of losing time. , INTERVIEWER:,You've written, as recently as last year, about this crackdown that happened in February 96'. Yasser Arafat, you say, could have had the ability at the time, to stop the terror from (Inaudible). ,01:23:17>>>, DENNIS ROSS:,Well the proof of it is that it did stop. You know, you had one year - Barak's first year - where you didn't have - for the only time in Israel's history, you had a year go by where you didn't lose a single fatality to terror. Now that wasn't suddenly because Hamas Islamic Jihad decided to transform themselves. It wasn't because they suddenly decided, well, gee, we really don't care about the Israelis. It wasn't because the Israelis were stopping everything, it's because the Palestinians were shutting it down. They were shutting it down, they were cooperating with Israeli security. And they were sending a very clear message. Arafat sent a very clear message, at this time: You do anything, we come down on you like a ton of bricks. So it's the period when he's not sending that message, is suddenly when you see terror. ,01:24:05>>>,Now, in the case of the four bombs in nine days, the Israelis had been able to kill Abu Ayash who was known as The Engineer. And I suspect that Arafat expected that there would be a retaliation for that. The real reason I believe that Arafat cracked down in 1996 was not because of Israeli pressure, or because of our pressure, it was because he was surprised by the scope of the Hamas infrastructure. He may have expected one bomb in retaliation for the killing of Ayash. He got four. And he saw it discrediting him, in the eyes of the world. And then he cracks down. And he cracks down dramatically. He removes Imams from the mosques. He arrests all the leaders of Hamas, not just the political leaders, but the military leaders as well. So, he does something that no one else in the Arab world has done. He's going into the mosques, directly. And he kept it up for about four months. , INTERVIEWER:,Can't he do that now? Can't he do that in the past two years? ,01:25:09>>>, DENNIS ROSS:,He certainly could have done much more than he has done. To say that he could do it today on the West Bank is not true. Because basically, the Israelis are in every city of the West Bank, except Jericho. But he could do it in Gaza. And in fact, about two months ago, Hamas kidnapped one of the officers of the Palestinian Security Organization in Gaza over a familial dispute that went back a couple of years. But the PSO there, wanted to take Hamas on, and it was Arafat who stopped them. So, in a place where his security organizations are basically intact, meaning in Gaza, they have not cracked down because he won't let them. In the West Bank, today, he doesn't have the same wherewithal, but he certainly did before the Intifada. And those who say, you know, he doesn't have the strength to do it, well he wasn't doing it when he did have the strength to do it. [OFF CAMERA COMMENTS] ,01:26:12>>>,The issue of whether Arafat is capable, today, of cracking down on Hamas the way he did in the past, is an issue that, I think, is a legitimate one, when you're talking about the West Bank. You have, in fact, Israelis in every city of The West Bank, every Palestinian city, except Jericho. They have, pretty much, destroyed the structure of the Palestinian security organizations, what is known as the PSO. So, in the West Bank, to expect him to really engineer a crackdown, when he's also basically a prisoner, within the Mukata within Ramala, would be difficult. Now, that doesn't mean that he doesn't moral suasions, still. It doesn't mean that he doesn't have moral authority to make it clear that those who carry out these kinds of attacks are enemies of the Palestinian cause, something he's never said. ,01:26:59>>>,Whenever Arafat condemns acts of terror, he condemns acts of terror against all civilians. He never condemns the groups by name. The very day that someone like Rantici [PH], who is a leader of Hamas, will take credit for a bombing or Sheik Yassin a leader of Hamas will take credit for a bombing. He'll be condemning the bombings, but he never condemns them by name. He never says that, that the people who carry out these bombings are enemies of the Palestinian cause. He never says that. He never delegitimizes them. He has the power to delegitimize, but he doesn't do it. Today in Gaza, he could act. Today in Gaza, the one thing that hasn't changed is that the Palestinian Security Organizations are basically in tact. And they could take on Hamas. But, they either do not because he doesn't let him, or they choose not to. ,01:27:48>>>,Now, two months ago, there was a point where his officers in the Palestinian Security Organization, in Gaza, were prepared to do so. Because one of their officers was kidnapped by a Hamas figure and killed. It was primarily a function of a familiar, familial struggle. But, the fact of the matter is, his organization, the Palestinian Security Organization in Gaza, was ready to go after Hamas over this issue. And he is the one who blocked it. ,So, to say that Yasser Arafat doesn't have the power today to crack down on Hamas, may be true in part, but it doesn't explain why he didn't crack down on them at a period when he did have the power. , INTERVIEWER:,That brings us to a larger issue, Camp David 2000. , DENNIS ROSS:,Yes. , INTERVIEWER:,This was a - this was another crucial juncture. There's a lot of disagreement about what happened that really caused the breakdown - what really caused this moment of revolutionary change to become a moment of revolutionary ___. ,01:28:56>>>, DENNIS ROSS:,Yeah. Well I think that - there's all sorts of explanations. I think we have to look at it, not with, not with a sense of revisionism, which I've seen a lot of people engage in, but to go back and look at this with very clear eyes. And the fact of the matter is that it is true that Yasser Arafat didn't want to go to Camp David, but the argument that he was forced to go against his will is not really true, because he was ready to go. The argument that he asked for more time is true, but then it ignores the fact that he wouldn't use any time to prepare. ,So, the issue of was he forced, were we ready, is really, I think, beside the point. The real question is, in 15 days, when we were there, did he ever say anything new? He, personally? He may have authorized his negotiators because, in fact, his negotiators did say some new things, and they did make important concessions. But he is someone we never heard anything new from him. The only thing new that he said in fifteen days, is that Solomon's Temple did not exist in Jerusalem, it was ____. Now, if you're sending a signal of trying to delegitimize or question the core of the other side's belief, this is hardly an indication that you're ready to engage in reconciliation. So, I think that Arafat goes to Camp David, but has no intention of concluding an agreement while he's at Camp David. He has his negotiators, to be fair to them, there were three important concessions that they made. ,01:30:32>>>,One concession was that they were prepared to accept settlement blocks in the West Bank, for the Israelis, that would accommodate 80% of the settlers. 80% of the settlers, not 80% of the settlements. They also were prepared to accept the Jewish neighborhoods of East Jerusalem, being part of Israel. And finally, they were prepared to accept certain security arrangements, including early warning positions - early warning posts for the Israelis in the West Bank. Now, these were important concessions, they weren't sufficient to do a deal, but they were important. But we never heard from him. Never. , INTERVIEWER:,Never heard from? ,01:31:07>>>, DENNIS ROSS:,We never heard from Yasser Arafat that these concessions were ones that he embraced. We assumed, because his negotiators were prepared to put him on the table. At the end of Camp David, the last night of Camp David, President Clinton and I sat for two and a half hours with one - the Senior Israeli Negotiator, Shlomo Ben Ami and with Saeb Erekat, and we tried lots of different ideas. And the one thing that came through from Saeb Erekat, was that he didn't believe that Chairman Arafat was going to accept anything that we were putting on the table. Now, part of the reason, to be fair, is you have to understand Arafat. ,01:31:50>>>,Arafat never makes a decision one second before he has to. He's a decision avoider, he's not a decision maker. He spent his whole career maneuvering between different forces, trying to control the Palestinian Movement, or subvert the Palestinian Movement, or beat his competitors, or control him. So, he became habituated, not to deciding, but to evading. And Camp David, from his standpoint, was, you know, more than six months before the end of the Clinton Administration. As far as he was concerned, this wouldn't be the end of the road. No matter what we said. Even if we said, as you heard frequently, at Camp David, this was the end of the road for the president, after this there wasn't anything he could do. He didn't buy it. He didn't believe it. So, he wasn't going to make the historic concessions, if he was going to make them at all, in July of 2000. ,01:32:38>>>,But what convinced me, forever and always, that he wasn't up to ending the conflict, that it required too much personal redefinition, is that when time ran out, he still said no. It's one thing to have said no, at Camp David, when we didn't have a comprehensive proposal. We made proposals only on Jerusalem, and on the border. But with the Clinton ideas that we put on the table, on December 23rd, 2000, with no time left, less than a month left in the Clinton Administration, a new president already elected. At this point, with time basically having run out, with a comprehensive proposal that went farther than Camp David, not only in terms of the issues, but even in the content of the issues. You know, whereas we were talking about 92% of the territories going over to the Palestinians at Camp David, we're talking about 97% of the territories in the Clinton ideas. Whereas, we're talking about only the outer neighborhoods, the outer Arab neighborhoods, like Shuhafat [PH] and Beit becoming sovereign Palestinian territory. The outer neighborhoods of East Jerusalem, in the Clinton ideas, suddenly we transformed that into the principle that what is Arab will be Palestinian, and what is Jewish will be Israeli. Which meant that all the Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem would become part of the Palestinian Capital. So, we went much farther, in terms of content, and we went much farther in terms of having a comprehensive approach that dealt with refugees and security, as well. And this is what he could not say yes to. , INTERVIEWER:,We interviewed Saab Erekat, and just to give you a point that he made - , DENNIS ROSS:,Sure. , INTERVIEWER:,-he disputes the fact that there was a no at ____, when time was running out. He said the Palestinians - the Israelis offered, the Palestinians counter offered, the Israelis said, let the people decide. Low and behold new elections. The proposal was killed by the fact that Israelis never ____ to their people, not by the fact that (Inaudible) said no. , DENNIS ROSS:,First of all, they said, no, to the Clinton ideas. , INTERVIEWER:,Who said no? ,01:35:03>>>, DENNIS ROSS:,The Palestinians said no to the Clinton ideas. Yasser Arafat said no to the Clinton ideas. Did he say it - how did he say it? He said it in the following way; he said, I accept your ideas but I have reservations. The reservations, basically emasculated each of the issues that required him to give something. So, on Jerusalem he rejected the core of the compromise that was built into the Clinton ideas. On security, he rejected the elements of security in their entirety. He took what was the easiest element of security, and said it could never be accepted. Which was, that the Israelis would be able to operate in the air space. We didn't even say control the air space. We said, operate in the air space. He said, oh the Arab League will never accept that. This was not even the most demanding element of the security provisions that we put in. Had we gone through them, specifically one by one, he would have rejected each of them. ,01:35:49>>>,On the issue of refugees, which was a very delicate balance that we put together, we came up with a formula that said the Palestinians would have the right of return, would have the right to return to either their historic homeland, or historic Palestine, as a chapeau as a, as a kind of broad slogan under which they would be able to talk about refugees. But we said, the right would only apply to two areas. There would be five homes, and it would only apply to two of those. One would be the new state of Palestine. They would have a right of return there. Two, would be areas that are currently Israel, that were going to be swapped, as part of an exchange - having to do with the fact that the Israelis were going to be annexing part of the West Bank. There was going to be a partial territorial swap. And in those areas that are currently Israel, where we also promised to invest heavily to absorb refugees who would come back, that too would be an area where Palestinians had the right for return for refuge. ,Now, there were three other homes we identified, third countries, like the United States, European countries, Canada, Australia - Arab countries would be included as a fourth home, and Israel was a fifth home. But, in regard to the third countries, the Arab countries or Israel, each of them would have the sovereign right to decide whom they would admit. So there would be no right of return to Israel. There would be a right of return to their own state. And there would be a 30 billion dollar fund to help with the rehabilitation, resettlement, and repatriation of refugees. This was the formula that we gave him. And his response to that was, we need a new formula. If that's not a rejection, I don't know what is. ,01:37:28>>>,So, on every issue where he was required to give, he rejected it. And, in fact, his words were rejected. He couldn't do it. He couldn't accept it. We talked about the Israelis having, as part of the formula for Jerusalem, Israelis would have sovereignty over the Western Wall. He would have, the Palestinians would have sovereignty over the Hiram [PH], which is the platform where the mosques are. The Israelis would have sovereignty over the Western Wall, which runs along the side, in effect underground. He said, I can't accept that. He could accept only the Wailing Wall. Well, the Wailing Wall isn't what we were proposing. The Western Wall was what we were proposing. You want to, you want to take what is a fraction of the Western Wall, and say that's acceptable, then we have to change the other part of the formula, the part that he wants. You don't get to pick and choose. This was our best judgment of what it would take. If you accepted the ideas, you accepted the ideas. If you impose reservations that basically transform the ideas or rejected them, then you rejected them. So, to say they didn't say no, is a semantic response, but not, in fact an accurate one. , INTERVIEWER:,You must have spent countless hours with Yasser Arafat. , DENNIS ROSS:,I think that's fair to say. [CHUCKLES] , INTERVIEWER:,Beneath all this talking and negotiating, was he prepared, do you think, as a revolutionary, was he prepared to sign off (Inaudible) in the Palestinian struggle? Was he prepared to say, we (Inaudible) or was he just not prepared (Inaudible)? ,01:39:05>>>, DENNIS ROSS:,I think the, the essence of why Yasser Arafat, in the end, could not accept the Clinton ideas, was because of three words, end the conflict. He had to embrace those three words. End the conflict. And as a revolutionary, the one thing he couldn't do, as someone who never closed doors or foreclosed options, what he couldn't do was close the door, foreclose the option. When he ended the conflict it meant, from here on out, that was it, no more claims. No more grievance. No more struggle. No more cause. And for him, I believe, he was prepared to live in peace with Israel. But not in a way that foreclosed the possibility that, at some point, maybe fifty years down the road, maybe a hundred years down the road. That Israel might be supplanted by a Palestinian State. ,01:39:54>>>,When he ended the conflict, when he had to accept Israel as a Jewish State, in what was a situation where there were no more agreements to be negotiated, where he couldn't go to his own public and say, look, we still have these claims that we can, that we can pursue. But we'll pursue them later on. He couldn't cross that threshold. He couldn't redefine himself that way. That was, in the end, the fundamental limitation. And that didn't mean that you couldn't have a peace process with Arafat. It meant though, that it had to always be limited. It meant that you could go for a modus avendi [PH]. And it meant that you had to construct a process that would allow you to create circumstances where you could negotiate what would be a permanent deal, after he was no longer on the scene. , INTERVIEWER:,Bernard Lewis, a scholar on the Middle East, analyzed that situation and said, basically, Yasser Arafat is too experienced engaging in terror operations. For him to stop a relationship with terror movements, is like Tiger Woods stopping playing golf. ,01:40:58>>>, DENNIS ROSS:,I guess I would put it a little differently. To understand Arafat, you have to understand someone who, as I said, constantly maneuvers; sees different forces, reacts to different pressures. And because he always feels that he has to be able to move, never be trapped, he also feels you have to keep your options open. You never know when you might need something. You never know when you might need somebody. So, are you gonna crack down on Hamas, once and for all? No. Because maybe some day you'll need them. Are you going to let your own security people ensure that the Tanzim [PH], the Fatah activists don't get armed. No, because some day you might need them. Maybe you'll need them against Hamas. Maybe you'll need them against the security people. His security people came to him, about three and a half years ago, and pleaded with him not to arm the Tanzim, the Fatah activists. But he did. Now, is it because he wants to run with the terrorists? In my judgment, no. It's because he never forecloses an option. He never knows when he might need somebody, or some thing. , INTERVIEWER:,Did you receive, in addition to the signals, the official positions and preservations ____ any behind the scenes signals from Arafat or his men, that, listen, we really can't (Inaudible) to do this. (Inaudible) any of these other non-negotiated positions, that (Inaudible)? , DENNIS ROSS:,The short answer is, no, we did not. We did not. , INTERVIEWER:,We did not what? ,01:42:40>>>, DENNIS ROSS:,We did not, I'm sorry. I'll repeat that. [CHUCKLES] The short answer is, that, throughout this period we never explicitly were told why the particular ideas that Clinton presented were not acceptable. We were never told that, while they're not acceptable because the Palestinian public won't buy this. We were never told, this goes beyond what we can accept, because we simply can't convince our public. In fact, what I have suggested, from time to time, is if the Clinton ideas were so unacceptable, why mis-portray them? Why lie about them? Why distort them? And Yasser Arafat said, he was offered cantons and bamboo stands. He was offered Palestinian islands in an Israeli sea. ,When you're offered 97% of the territory, they aren't Palestinian islands in an Israeli sea. He said, we weren't even offered 90%, when they were offered 97%. He said, they weren't offered Arab East Jerusalem, when they were. If the ideas were so bad, if they were so unacceptable to the Palestinian public, why not be honest about em? Why not say to the Palestinian public, we were offered Arab East Jerusalem, but it wasn't enough for me, and here's why. We were offered 97%, but I couldn't accept less than a hundred. I mean that should have been his posture. But it wasn't. Instead, what he did was misrepresent the ideas, mis-portray the ideas. So, I am highly skeptical that the ideas could not have been sold by him. Indeed, his own behavior suggests otherwise. [OFF CAMERA COMMENTS]
SIRHAN'S FATHER INTV / RFK ASSASSINATION
CP 100 SOF MAG B ROLL CONTINUATION OF FTG OF INTV W/ THE FATHER OF SIRHAN SIRHAN ACCUSED SLAYER OF SENATOR ROBERT KENNEDY (RFK / BOBBY KENNEDY / BOB KENNEDY). CS. VS INTV W/ SIRHAN'S FATHER. HE SAYS HE LEAVES IT UP TO GOD TO JUDGE HIS SON. HE CRITICIZES RFK'S SPEECH IN SUPPORT OF ISRAEL, SAYING IT WAS NOT ADVANCING CAUSE OF PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST.
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OUR PRESIDENTS
AL-ASSAD / SYRIAN TRAIT
Les informés de France Info: 13 November 2022 issue
Radio France: filmed programmes
Middle East Funeral
Funeral of Palestinian man suspected of trying to assassinate Jewish activist
TUNISIA/DEMO FOR BELAID
Clinton Arrives from Michigan (03/04/1996)
President Clinton arrived home at the White House tonight after a day of campaigning in Michigan, where he addressed today's latest suicide bombing in Israel. Clinton said it was ironic that the people who plan these suicide attacks and those who assassinated Yitshak Rabin last year have the same goal in mind...more war. He pledged the help of the United States in helping Israel fight the radical Palestinian group, Hamas, as well as ensuring that the middle east peace process continues to go forward.
Middle East Extra Lebanon Hotel
Hotel still in ruins 10 years after Hariri's killing
Guests: Isabelle de Gaulmyn, editor-in-chief of the daily La Croix
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Dennis Ross Interview
COLOR SYNC Interview Ambassador Dennis Ross Former Special Middle East Coordinator Director of The Washington Institute for Near East Policy,01:07:51>>>DENNIS ROSS: I can certainly spell my name, -I'm actually quite good at that. It's Dennis Ross. D-e-n-n-i-s-, R-o-s-s. I'm the Director of The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. And I have been here since I left the government, where I was the American negotiator in the Middle East. ,01:08:15>>>INTERVIEWER: You were the negotiator through several administrations. (Inaudible) ,01:08:18>>>DENNIS ROSS: Well, I was the, I was the envoy during the Clinton Administration, both terms. I was the - what I would say - I was the head of Policy Planning, in the President Bush 91' Administration. And in that role, I had the lead responsibility for shaping what we did towards Arab/Israeli issues. But if you were going to identify a negotiator in the Bush Administration, it was Secretary Baker. ,01:08:45>>>INTERVIEWER: You were with Aaron Miller, and - you were on Baker's team in the Middle East. ,01:08:50>>>DENNIS ROSS: Yeah. I led that team. And Miller was on the team, and Aaron was my deputy throughout the Clinton Administration. And Dan Kurtzer was on that team for, for part of the time. ,01:09:10>>>INTERVIEWER: Can you describe, briefly, your perception of the change in the Israeli readiness for peace, and readiness for compromise? Show me your days, and when you were facing Israel under (Inaudible). ,01:09:18>>>DENNIS ROSS: Well it was a revolution in attitudes. During Shamir's tenure as Prime Minister, Shamir operated on a premise that every action you took was, by definition, risk. It would impose risk. And not taking actions, were not seen by him as also risky. In other words, he always saw the risk of every action, but he never saw the risk of inaction. He always felt that sooner or later something would come along to save you. So he would talk about his commitment to pursuing peace, because he was, in fact, not exactly enthusiastic about doing so. ,And when we were able to get to Madrid, in no small part we were able to get to Madrid, because we got a yes from _____, first, and then Shamir felt that he had to prove that he was also up to being able to negotiate. ,01:10:10>>>INTERVIEWER: Actually, in the peace process that was famous for having been - ____ actually began working for the Shamir Administration in 91'. ,01:10:15>>>DENNIS ROSS: Absolutely. The Madrid - what the Madrid Conference did, is end the - break the taboo on direct talks between Arabs and Israelis. When Egypt made peace with Israel, in 1979, he didn't break that taboo. Because, at least for a period of time Egypt was isolated by the rest of the Arab world. The taboo stayed in place. You couldn't have direct negotiations between Israel and its neighbors; Egypt, the United States, throughout the 1980's, tried to broker different ways to create a basis for negotiations. But what Madrid did is it broke that taboo, and it made it legitimate to talk, sit directly, with Israel, if you were an Arab country. So the real peace process begins with the launching of the Madrid Conference. Not because suddenly you have a negotiation that is serious, but you have a negotiation at all. ,01:11:05>>>INTERVIEWER: What was the revolution at Oslo? ,01:11:11>>>DENNIS ROSS: The real revolution is, I think, a function of attitude, but also crossing the threshold to deal directly with the Palestinians. During Shamir's time, he wanted to have a dialogue with Palestinians from the territories. And if, in fact, he had been willing to have a serious dialogue with them, and empower them, and in a sense have them become authentic and authoritative because they could deliver, he might well have been able to deal with someone other than Yasser Arafat. It was not absolutely a given that Yasser Arafat would be the partner, especially after The Gulf War, when his standing was quite low. I mean, he was isolated, he was alone. The Gulf States wanted nothing to do with him. So, in fact, his vulnerability was such that it's conceivable that you might have had an alternative to him. ,01:11:56>>>DENNIS ROSS: Shamir's big mistake was he - when we finally got to negotiations with the Palestinians, he engaged in behaviors that basically underCUt them - showed that they couldn't change the kind of behaviors that were being carried out by the Israeli government, that most Palestinians found very diffiCUlt to live with. And settlement activity didn't go down, it went up. House confiscations and demolitions didn't go down, they went up. So rather than being able to change the realities within which Palestinians live, which might have built the authority, and weight, the Palestinians that the Israeli government, under Shamir was dealing with, he basically underCUt them, and left very little choice, except to deal with the PLO. ,01:12:38>>>DENNIS ROSS: What Rabin did, is cross that threshold. But obviously, in crossing the threshold, he did it, not only because he wanted to be able to deal with authoritative Palestinians, what he also felt was that there was a historic moment where you could settle his conflict. And that's what he was about. That's how he defined himself. This was his second go around as Prime Minister. He had been Prime Minister after the 1973 war. This was his chance, twenty years later, to really produce. And he felt an obligation, as the generation of founders of Israel, to pass on to the next generation what would be a situation of peace. That was an important motivation. But there was one other fact that was a motivation. ,01:13:18>>>DENNIS ROSS: Rabin was a strategist, and he always thought in broader, strategic terms. And he looked at what he felt was a confluence of cirCUmstances that made peace making, at this point, much more likely to succeed, because you have the extremists after The Gulf War, in decline. You have moderates in the Arab World, in the ascendancy. You have those who could present a threat from a distance, meaning Iraq and Iran. Also at that point, certainly in the case of Iraq, at a point where they were not really capable of offering much of a threat or presenting much of a threat, but he looked down the road, five or ten years from this partiCUlar period, and he said, if we don't take advantage of this moment, we may find later on the threat we face is much more aCUte. ,So, there was a strategic imperative from Rabin's standpoint, a well as, in some ways, I would suspect a moral imperative. Because he felt an obligation as Prime Minister, to pass something on to the next generation. ,01:14:15>>>INTERVIEWER: You worked closely with President Clinton, at that time. What was his sense and his hope, his high hopes for the Oslo Agreement. What kind of hope and (Inaudible) in your administration? ,01:14:28>>>DENNIS ROSS: I think that President Clinton, when you have this threshold crossed, when you have the September 13th, 1993 handshake at the White House, President Clinton saw this, not only as a historic threshold that had been crossed, he saw it as an indication that these two sides, the Israelis and the Palestinians, who were seen as the core of the conflict in the Middle East, not the sum total of the conflict, but the core of it, that they, in fact, were able to talk peace. And we were, we were no longer in an era of diplomacy through denial, we are now in an era of diplomacy through bargaining. And I think he thought, look, if we're - in a period where we're talking about how you reach deals, it's only a matter of time. And he became convinced that you would see an end to the Arab-Israeli conflict during his tenure as President. ,01:15:20>>>INTERVIEWER: Do you think that was a somewhat realistic hope, given the situation and what happened? ,01:15:24>>>DENNIS ROSS: Well, I think that hope was - I think it was realistic, at the time, from the following standpoint; you had had Israelis and Palestinians living in a world of mutual rejection and denial. And suddenly you're taking the, the imagery of rejection, and replacing it with recognition. And recognition and the commitment to resolve the conflict of peaceful means, the renunciation of terror and violence which was part of Arafat's letter to Rabin on September 9th, 1993, that opened the way for the recognition of the Israelis to the PLO. All of this suggested that we are in a new world. And given the outlines of the declaration of principals, that was concluded between the Israelis and the Palestinians, everything that needed to be there for a broad road map to get from where we were, to an eventual conclusion, was there. ,01:16:20>>>DENNIS ROSS: Now, what was also there, were all sorts of big holes and big question marks, which suggested that you were going to have to have very diffiCUlt negotiations. But you'd had a revolution in psychology. So, with the revolution in psychology, that certainly made it seem possible, that you might be able to create a revolution on the ground, and ensure that peace making would no longer be only theoretical. ,01:16:55>>>INTERVIEWER: Was there a sense, not only - you talked about the change on the Israeli's side, can you talk more about the commitment on the Palestinian side (Inaudible) resolved in negotiations? All these new statements, on his part. Do you see a new Palestinian (Inaudible)? ,01:17:00>>>DENNIS ROSS: Well certainly, in the commitments that Arafat made, which were in writing. What they suggested was that the PLO had gone through what was a fundamental departure. It had transformed who it was. It was now going to pursue in an explicit, open process, a negotiation with Israel. What the mutual recognition meant, from the Palestinian standpoint, was they accepted Israel's right to be there. That's what recognition meant. And the Israelis, in a sense, at least implicitly, accepted that the agenda of the PLO, which was statehood, was also going to be the end of the process. In effect the trade that was - if you look at the essence of what was being disCUssed first in the Declaration of Principals, and then in every interim agreement that succeeded it - there was a basic trade. It wasn't land for peace, it was security for peace. ,01:18:00>>>INTERVIEWER: We interviewed Palestinian negotiators for this. And they all said something similar which was that, this would have worked, it was this close to working had it not been for the Netanyahu Administration of 96'. That Netanyahu had somehow been so fundamental a policy change, that it just killed the peace agreement, peace process. Yet, you've negotiated deals, even during the administration. ,01:18:20>>>DENNIS ROSS: True. ,01:18:22>>>INTERVIEWER: How do you respond to the acCUracy of that? ,01:18:24>>>DENNIS ROSS: I do think there is an element here that has to be considered. During Prime Minister Netanyahu's period, you had a three-year period where the process clearly slowed down. What was supposed to be the beginning of permanent status negotiations in 1996, didn't take place until after Barak was Prime Minister. And even when he was Prime Minister, they didn't begin right away. So there was a period where we lost time. And Palestinians, during this time, saw what was an Oslo Process that was supposed to produce the end of Israeli ocCUpation, the end of Israeli control, they saw it being cemented in this time. Many Palestinians on the street came to believe that the process was really a sham process, because it wasn't producing what it was supposed to produce. So, from that standpoint, I think it's fair to say that cynicism about the process, among Palestinians, anger about the process among Palestinians went up during this period. And the loss of time was significant. ,01:19:20>>>DENNIS ROSS: It was also significant for one other reason; two very prominent Arab leaders who might well have felt a special responsibility for Jerusalem, and who were not shy about being prepared to weigh in, and could have, in effect, I believe, put pressure on Arafat on the Jerusalem issue, both died. We lost King Hussein, and we lost King Hassad of Morocco. So, time, from that standpoint, may have cost us something very profound. Now, having said all that, it also leaves out one important factor. You know, Netanyahu never would have become Prime Minister in the aftermath of the assassination, if it weren't for Hamas and Jihad bombs, in nine days, at the end of February and beginning of March. If Yasser Arafat had been doing what he was supposed to do, in terms of insuring that they would not be a threat, he wouldn't have had those four bombs in nine days, you would have had Shimon, Shimon Peres elected in the shadow of an assassination, which gave him really a kind of unassailable quality, until the four bombs in nine days came along. ,01:20:24>>>DENIS ROSS: And so, in effect, when you say, you lost three years because of Netanyahu, the fact of the matter is, you would have had Shimon Peres representing the fulfillment of the Rabin legacy, and with a mandate committed to fulfilling that legacy. Except that doesn't happen, because you have terrorist bombings. And when Shimon Peres, in January of 1996 (before the bombing), meets with Yasser Arafat and says, you have to do something about Mohammed Deif who is the chief bomb maker, organizer of the Izzedine al Qassam Brigade for the Hamas in Gaza. And he says, you gotta do something about Mohammed Deif, to Arafat, in a meeting with the security people of both sides. And Arafat says, who's Deif, I don't know Deif?,01:21:12>>>DENNIS ROSS: So, the notion that somehow it's - because Netanyahu comes in and you lose three years, tends to ignore the reality that Yasser Arafat could have done something about the threat that Hamas posed, and didn't do anything until after the four bombs in nine days. After the four bombs, which basically discredited Peres, then he cracked down. He did, seriously, crack down. Probably his most profound and systematic crackdown, at any point throughout the process. But he did it after the four bombs. ,01:21:42>>>DENNIS ROSS: Now, I know, from a number of Palestinians, who were telling him in advance of this, you know, these guys are building up their strength and at some point they're gonna act, we have to do something. And he didn't. So, I would say, when we look from a historical standpoint, it is true that the three years of Netanyahu, I think, did create a sense of cynicism and doubt among Palestinians, about the worth of the process, at the level of the street. And it did cost us two significant Arab leaders who, for very different reasons, felt they had a responsibility for Jerusalem. King Mohammed, because he could trace his lineage to the prophet, and because he headed the Jerusalem Committee, of the organization of Is- of the Islamic Organization of States. And King Hussein, because he too could trace his lineage to the prophets, and felt a special linkage to Jerusalem - in fact, he had paid for the renovations on the Dome of Rock himself. ,01:22:40>>>DENNIS ROSS: These were two leaders who were prepared to do something about Jerusalem. And I think had they been there, you might well have seen a very different posture on that issue, which could have effected the negotiations. But they were gone, and that's one of the consequences of losing time. ,01:23:10>>>INTERVIEWER: You've written, as recently as last year, about this crackdown that happened in February 96'. Yasser Arafat, you say, could have had the ability at the time, to stop the terror from (Inaudible). ,01:23:17>>>DENNIS ROSS: Well the proof of it is that it did stop. You know, you had one year - Barak's first year - where you didn't have - for the only time in Israel's history, you had a year go by where you didn't lose a single fatality to terror. Now that wasn't suddenly because Hamas Islamic Jihad decided to transform themselves. It wasn't because they suddenly decided, well, gee, we really don't care about the Israelis. It wasn't because the Israelis were stopping everything, it's because the Palestinians were shutting it down. They were shutting it down, they were cooperating with Israeli security. And they were sending a very clear message. Arafat sent a very clear message, at this time: You do anything, we come down on you like a ton of bricks. So it's the period when he's not sending that message, is suddenly when you see terror. ,01:24:05>>>DENNIS ROSS: Now, in the case of the four bombs in nine days, the Israelis had been able to kill Abu Ayash who was known as The Engineer. And I suspect that Arafat expected that there would be a retaliation for that. The real reason I believe that Arafat cracked down in 1996 was not because of Israeli pressure, or because of our pressure, it was because he was surprised by the scope of the Hamas infrastructure. He may have expected one bomb in retaliation for the killing of Ayash. He got four. And he saw it discrediting him, in the eyes of the world. And then he cracks down. And he cracks down dramatically. He removes Imams from the mosques. He arrests all the leaders of Hamas, not just the political leaders, but the military leaders as well. So, he does something that no one else in the Arab world has done. He's going into the mosques, directly. And he kept it up for about four months. ,0125:00>>>INTERVIEWER: Can't he do that now? Can't he do that in the past two years? ,01:25:09>>>DENNIS ROSS: He certainly could have done much more than he has done. To say that he could do it today on the West Bank is not true. Because basically, the Israelis are in every city of the West Bank, except Jericho. But he could do it in Gaza. And in fact, about two months ago, Hamas kidnapped one of the officers of the Palestinian security Organization in Gaza over a familial dispute that went back a couple of years. But the PSO there, wanted to take Hamas on, and it was Arafat who stopped them. So, in a place where his security organizations are basically intact, meaning in Gaza, they have not cracked down because he won't let them. In the West Bank, today, he doesn't have the same wherewithal, but he certainly did before the Intifada. And those who say, you know, he doesn't have the strength to do it, well he wasn't doing it when he did have the strength to do it. [OFF CAMERA COMMENTS] ,01:26:12>>>DENNIS ROSS:The issue of whether Arafat is capable, today, of cracking down on Hamas the way he did in the past, is an issue that, I think, is a legitimate one, when you're talking about the West Bank. You have, in fact, Israelis in every city of The West Bank, every Palestinian city, except Jericho. They have, pretty much, destroyed the structure of the Palestinian security organizations, what is known as the PSO. So, in the West Bank, to expect him to really engineer a crackdown, when he's also basically a prisoner, within the Mukata within Ramala, would be diffiCUlt. Now, that doesn't mean that he doesn't moral suasions, still. It doesn't mean that he doesn't have moral authority to make it clear that those who carry out these kinds of attacks are enemies of the Palestinian cause, something he's never said. ,01:26:59>>>DENNIS ROSS: Whenever Arafat condemns acts of terror, he condemns acts of terror against all civilians. He never condemns the groups by name. The very day that someone like Rantici [PH], who is a leader of Hamas, will take credit for a bombing or Sheik Yassin a leader of Hamas will take credit for a bombing. He'll be condemning the bombings, but he never condemns them by name. He never says that, that the people who carry out these bombings are enemies of the Palestinian cause. He never says that. He never delegitimizes them. He has the power to delegitimize, but he doesn't do it. Today in Gaza, he could act. Today in Gaza, the one thing that hasn't changed is that the Palestinian security Organizations are basically in tact. And they could take on Hamas. But, they either do not because he doesn't let him, or they choose not to. ,01:27:48>>>DENNIS ROSS: Now, two months ago, there was a point where his officers in the Palestinian security Organization, in Gaza, were prepared to do so. Because one of their officers was kidnapped by a Hamas figure and killed. It was primarily a function of a familiar, familial struggle. But, the fact of the matter is, his organization, the Palestinian security Organization in Gaza, was ready to go after Hamas over this issue. And he is the one who blocked it. ,So, to say that Yasser Arafat doesn't have the power today to crack down on Hamas, may be true in part, but it doesn't explain why he didn't crack down on them at a period when he did have the power. ,01:28:45>>>INTERVIEWER: That brings us to a larger issue, Camp David 2000. ,01:28:48>>>DENNIS ROSS: Yes. ,01:28:50>>>INTERVIEWER: This was a - this was another crucial juncture. There's a lot of disagreement about what happened that really caused the breakdown - what really caused this moment of revolutionary change to become a moment of revolutionary ___. ,01:28:56>>>DENNIS ROSS: Yeah. Well I think that - there's all sorts of explanations. I think we have to look at it, not with, not with a sense of revisionism, which I've seen a lot of people engage in, but to go back and look at this with very clear eyes. And the fact of the matter is that it is true that Yasser Arafat didn't want to go to Camp David, but the argument that he was forced to go against his will is not really true, because he was ready to go. The argument that he asked for more time is true, but then it ignores the fact that he wouldn't use any time to prepare. ,So, the issue of was he forced, were we ready, is really, I think, beside the point. The real question is, in 15 days, when we were there, did he ever say anything new? He, personally? He may have authorized his negotiators because, in fact, his negotiators did say some new things, and they did make important concessions. But he is someone we never heard anything new from him. The only thing new that he said in fifteen days, is that Solomon's Temple did not exist in Jerusalem, it was ____. Now, if you're sending a signal of trying to delegitimize or question the core of the other side's belief, this is hardly an indication that you're ready to engage in reconciliation. So, I think that Arafat goes to Camp David, but has no intention of concluding an agreement while he's at Camp David. He has his negotiators, to be fair to them, there were three important concessions that they made. ,01:30:32>>>DENNIS ROSS: One concession was that they were prepared to accept settlement blocks in the West Bank, for the Israelis, that would accommodate 80% of the settlers. 80% of the settlers, not 80% of the settlements. They also were prepared to accept the Jewish neighborhoods of East Jerusalem, being part of Israel. And finally, they were prepared to accept certain security arrangements, including early warning positions - early warning posts for the Israelis in the West Bank. Now, these were important concessions, they weren't sufficient to do a deal, but they were important. But we never heard from him. Never. ,01:31:05>>>INTERVIEWER: Never heard from? ,01:31:07>>>DENNIS ROSS: We never heard from Yasser Arafat that these concessions were ones that he embraced. We assumed, because his negotiators were prepared to put him on the table. At the end of Camp David, the last night of Camp David, President Clinton and I sat for two and a half hours with one - the Senior Israeli Negotiator, Shlomo Ben Ami and with Saeb Erekat, and we tried lots of different ideas. And the one thing that came through from Saeb Erekat, was that he didn't believe that Chairman Arafat was going to accept anything that we were putting on the table. Now, part of the reason, to be fair, is you have to understand Arafat. ,01:31:50>>>DENNIS ROSS: Arafat never makes a decision one second before he has to. He's a decision avoider, he's not a decision maker. He spent his whole career maneuvering between different forces, trying to control the Palestinian Movement, or subvert the Palestinian Movement, or beat his competitors, or control him. So, he became habituated, not to deciding, but to evading. And Camp David, from his standpoint, was, you know, more than six months before the end of the Clinton Administration. As far as he was concerned, this wouldn't be the end of the road. No matter what we said. Even if we said, as you heard frequently, at Camp David, this was the end of the road for the president, after this there wasn't anything he could do. He didn't buy it. He didn't believe it. So, he wasn't going to make the historic concessions, if he was going to make them at all, in July of 2000. ,01:32:38>>>DENNIS ROSS: But what convinced me, forever and always, that he wasn't up to ending the conflict, that it required too much personal redefinition, is that when time ran out, he still said no. It's one thing to have said no, at Camp David, when we didn't have a comprehensive proposal. We made proposals only on Jerusalem, and on the border. But with the Clinton ideas that we put on the table, on December 23rd, 2000, with no time left, less than a month left in the Clinton Administration, a new president already elected. At this point, with time basically having run out, with a comprehensive proposal that went farther than Camp David, not only in terms of the issues, but even in the content of the issues. You know, whereas we were talking about 92% of the territories going over to the Palestinians at Camp David, we're talking about 97% of the territories in the Clinton ideas. Whereas, we're talking about only the outer neighborhoods, the outer Arab neighborhoods, like Shuhafat [PH] and Beit becoming sovereign Palestinian territory. The outer neighborhoods of East Jerusalem, in the Clinton ideas, suddenly we transformed that into the principle that what is Arab will be Palestinian, and what is Jewish will be Israeli. Which meant that all the Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem would become part of the Palestinian Capital. So, we went much farther, in terms of content, and we went much farther in terms of having a comprehensive approach that dealt with refugees and security, as well. And this is what he could not say yes to. ,01:34:45>>>INTERVIEWER: We interviewed Saab Erekat, and just to give you a point that he made ,01:34:48>>>DENNIS ROSS: Sure. ,01:34:50>>>INTERVIEWER: -he disputes the fact that there was a no at ____, when time was running out. He said the Palestinians - the Israelis offered, the Palestinians counter offered, the Israelis said, let the people decide. Low and behold new elections. The proposal was killed by the fact that Israelis never ____ to their people, not by the fact that (Inaudible) said no. ,01:34:55>>>DENNIS ROSS: First of all, they said, no, to the Clinton ideas. ,01:35:00>>>INTERVIEWER: Who said no? ,01:35:03>>>DENNIS ROSS: The Palestinians said no to the Clinton ideas. Yasser Arafat said no to the Clinton ideas. Did he say it - how did he say it? He said it in the following way; he said, I accept your ideas but I have reservations. The reservations, basically emasCUlated each of the issues that required him to give something. So, on Jerusalem he rejected the core of the compromise that was built into the Clinton ideas. On security, he rejected the elements of security in their entirety. He took what was the easiest element of security, and said it could never be accepted. Which was, that the Israelis would be able to operate in the air space. We didn't even say control the air space. We said, operate in the air space. He said, oh the Arab League will never accept that. This was not even the most demanding element of the security provisions that we put in. Had we gone through them, specifically one by one, he would have rejected each of them. ,01:35:49>>>DENNIS ROSS: On the issue of refugees, which was a very delicate balance that we put together, we came up with a formula that said the Palestinians would have the right of return, would have the right to return to either their historic homeland, or historic Palestine, as a chapeau as a, as a kind of broad slogan under which they would be able to talk about refugees. But we said, the right would only apply to two areas. There would be five homes, and it would only apply to two of those. One would be the new state of Palestine. They would have a right of return there. Two, would be areas that are CUrrently Israel, that were going to be swapped, as part of an exchange - having to do with the fact that the Israelis were going to be annexing part of the West Bank. There was going to be a partial territorial swap. And in those areas that are CUrrently Israel, where we also promised to invest heavily to absorb refugees who would come back, that too would be an area where Palestinians had the right for return for refuge. ,Now, there were three other homes we identified, third countries, like the United States, European countries, Canada, Australia - Arab countries would be included as a fourth home, and Israel was a fifth home. But, in regard to the third countries, the Arab countries or Israel, each of them would have the sovereign right to decide whom they would admit. So there would be no right of return to Israel. There would be a right of return to their own state. And there would be a 30 billion dollar fund to help with the rehabilitation, resettlement, and repatriation of refugees. This was the formula that we gave him. And his response to that was, we need a new formula. If that's not a rejection, I don't know what is. ,01:37:28>>>DENNIS ROSS: So, on every issue where he was required to give, he rejected it. And, in fact, his words were rejected. He couldn't do it. He couldn't accept it. We talked about the Israelis having, as part of the formula for Jerusalem, Israelis would have sovereignty over the Western Wall. He would have, the Palestinians would have sovereignty over the Hiram [PH], which is the platform where the mosques are. The Israelis would have sovereignty over the Western Wall, which runs along the side, in effect underground. He said, I can't accept that. He could accept only the Wailing Wall. Well, the Wailing Wall isn't what we were proposing. The Western Wall was what we were proposing. You want to, you want to take what is a fraction of the Western Wall, and say that's acceptable, then we have to change the other part of the formula, the part that he wants. You don't get to pick and choose. This was our best judgment of what it would take. If you accepted the ideas, you accepted the ideas. If you impose reservations that basically transform the ideas or rejected them, then you rejected them. So, to say they didn't say no, is a semantic response, but not, in fact an acCUrate one. ,01:38:50>>>INTERVIEWER: You must have spent countless hours with Yasser Arafat. ,01:38:55>>>DENNIS ROSS: I think that's fair to say. [CHUCKLES] ,01:38:58>>>INTERVIEWER: Beneath all this talking and negotiating, was he prepared, do you think, as a revolutionary, was he prepared to sign off (Inaudible) in the Palestinian struggle? Was he prepared to say, we (Inaudible) or was he just not prepared (Inaudible)? ,01:39:05>>>DENNIS ROSS: I think the, the essence of why Yasser Arafat, in the end, could not accept the Clinton ideas, was because of three words, end the conflict. He had to embrace those three words. End the conflict. And as a revolutionary, the one thing he couldn't do, as someone who never closed doors or foreclosed options, what he couldn't do was close the door, foreclose the option. When he ended the conflict it meant, from here on out, that was it, no more claims. No more grievance. No more struggle. No more cause. And for him, I believe, he was prepared to live in peace with Israel. But not in a way that foreclosed the possibility that, at some point, maybe fifty years down the road, maybe a hundred years down the road. That Israel might be supplanted by a Palestinian State. ,01:39:54>>>DENNIS ROSS: When he ended the conflict, when he had to accept Israel as a Jewish State, in what was a situation where there were no more agreements to be negotiated, where he couldn't go to his own public and say, look, we still have these claims that we can, that we can pursue. But we'll pursue them later on. He couldn't cross that threshold. He couldn't redefine himself that way. That was, in the end, the fundamental limitation. And that didn't mean that you couldn't have a peace process with Arafat. It meant though, that it had to always be limited. It meant that you could go for a modus avendi [PH]. And it meant that you had to construct a process that would allow you to create cirCUmstances where you could negotiate what would be a permanent deal, after he was no longer on the scene. ,01:40:45>>>INTERVIEWER: Bernard Lewis, a scholar on the Middle East, analyzed that situation and said, basically, Yasser Arafat is too experienced engaging in terror operations. For him to stop a relationship with terror movements, is like Tiger Woods stopping playing golf. ,01:40:58>>>DENNIS ROSS: I guess I would put it a little differently. To understand Arafat, you have to understand someone who, as I said, constantly maneuvers; sees different forces, reacts to different pressures. And because he always feels that he has to be able to move, never be trapped, he also feels you have to keep your options open. You never know when you might need something. You never know when you might need somebody. So, are you gonna crack down on Hamas, once and for all? No. Because maybe some day you'll need them. Are you going to let your own security people ensure that the Tanzim [PH], the Fatah activists don't get armed. No, because some day you might need them. Maybe you'll need them against Hamas. Maybe you'll need them against the security people. His security people came to him, about three and a half years ago, and pleaded with him not to arm the Tanzim, the Fatah activists. But he did. Now, is it because he wants to run with the terrorists? In my judgment, no. It's because he never forecloses an option. He never knows when he might need somebody, or some thing. ,01:42:20>>>INTERVIEWER: Did you receive, in addition to the signals, the official positions and preservations ____ any behind the scenes signals from Arafat or his men, that, listen, we really can't (Inaudible) to do this. (Inaudible) any of these other non-negotiated positions, that (Inaudible)? ,01:42:35>>>DENNIS ROSS: The short answer is, no, we did not. We did not. ,01:42:38>>>INTERVIEWER: We did not what? ,01:42:40>>>DENNIS ROSS: We did not, I'm sorry. I'll repeat that. [CHUCKLES] The short answer is, that, throughout this period we never explicitly were told why the partiCUlar ideas that Clinton presented were not acceptable. We were never told that, while they're not acceptable because the Palestinian public won't buy this. We were never told, this goes beyond what we can accept, because we simply can't convince our public. In fact, what I have suggested, from time to time, is if the Clinton ideas were so unacceptable, why mis-portray them? Why lie about them? Why distort them? And Yasser Arafat said, he was offered cantons and bamboo stands. He was offered Palestinian islands in an Israeli sea. ,When you're offered 97% of the territory, they aren't Palestinian islands in an Israeli sea. He said, we weren't even offered 90%, when they were offered 97%. He said, they weren't offered Arab East Jerusalem, when they were. If the ideas were so bad, if they were so unacceptable to the Palestinian public, why not be honest about em? Why not say to the Palestinian public, we were offered Arab East Jerusalem, but it wasn't enough for me, and here's why. We were offered 97%, but I couldn't accept less than a hundred. I mean that should have been his posture. But it wasn't. Instead, what he did was misrepresent the ideas, mis-portray the ideas. So, I am highly skeptical that the ideas could not have been sold by him. Indeed, his own behavior suggests otherwise. [OFF CAMERA COMMENTS] ,01:44:25>>>INTERVIEWER: What about socializing the people for peace? Both sides were supposed to prepare their people as well. That was one of the (Inaudible). ,01:44:33>>>DENNIS ROSS: I think, one of the big failings of this process was the lack of conditioning on either side of their publics for peace. To be fair, to premise to Barak, he made an effort. He talked about painful compromises. And, in fact, many of the steps that he subsequently, or in the end, was prepared to take, certainly emerged in the Israeli media, so the Israeli public was used to what was coming. They expected it. On the Palestinian side, there was absolutely no conditioning whatsoever. Arafat never, ever, talked about having to give up anything. They were going to achieve everything. So, if I had to do it over again, one, one of the changes I would make about OUR involvement, is I would have had us, early on, make it clear, that if there wasn't conditioning for peace, we could not stay involved in the process. That would have created a much earlier, and much more relevant test. If, in fact, Arafat hadn't been able to do it, then it would have told us he wasn't capable of really making the kind of compromises necessary to make peace. And if he had done it, his own interest in accelerating the process would have gone up, because he would have needed to deliver. Having exposed himself on the issue of compromise, which could have opened him to attack, he needed to show what he was gaining, what he was producing for it. So, I would have done that. ,01:45:44>>>DENNIS ROSS: And, in fact, as I said, you really didn't see conditioning on either side, except during Barak's period. During the Rabin/Peres period, there really wasn't conditioning about the future, because they were foCUsed only on the interim issues, not the permanent status issues. During Netanyahu's time, there was no conditioning, because we were basically just trying to keep the process alive. So, you really - that should have, I think, been an American condition for our involvement. Because, with it you had a chance to succeed-without it, in the end you were not going to. ,01:46:20>>>INTERVIEWER: Was there a sense that the Israeli willingness, throughout the various administrations, to accept some kind of a two state solution? Was there, and is there a (Inaudible)? ,01:46:28>>>DENNIS ROSS: Well, there certainly was at Camp David, in the period of the Barak government, there absolutely was. In the period of - the beginnings of Oslo, even if there wasn't an explicit acceptance of that, by the Israelis, they were certainly implicit. There was no doubt, I think, that the Palestinians understood that in the end they would get a state. You know, expectations on the Palestinian side probably went up, in terms of how much of a territory they would get. They would tell us, in the last year of negotiations, in the year 2000, that they would get 100%. But, you know, based on the conversations I had with him, throughout the process, they were not operating on that premise, until the last year when their expectations went up. ,01:47:10>>>INTERVIEWER: What will it take? ,01:47:14>>>DENNIS ROSS: Well, I think what it will take are several things. I have written a book called, The Missing Peace, and I try to foCUs on, what really are the lessons of the past. I tell the story of what happened, and why it happened. But also, what are some of the critical lessons in the past? If there's one overriding lesson, it's that everybody has to assume a responsibility and be accountable for the decisions they make. That's true for the Israelis, it's true for the Palestinians. And one, one failing of this process is that neither side, Israelis included, never really felt a major obligation to fulfill some of the commitments they had in the Oslo process. And, on the Palestinian side, it was very clear that basically they felt no obligations were, in fact, sacrosanct, except to the Israelis. ,Yasser Arafat used to always talk about, he wanted only the acCUrate implementation of the agreements. Yet, the only acCUrate implantation he wanted, was the Israeli acCUrate implementation. He wasn't so concerned about his own. There needs to be accountability. There needs to be responsibilities assumed on the Palestinian side, in partiCUlar. There is a history of being a victim. And it's understandable, because they have been victims. But, at some point, they transformed being a victim from being only a condition, to a strategy. And when you're a victim, you're entitled, you don't have to do anything. When you're a victim it's always up to somebody else. And one of the critical things for the Palestinians is to be ready to assume responsibility and to be accountable for decisions. To delegitimize those who will use terror and violence, to oppose peaceful coexistence, that's critical for the Palestinians. ,01:48:47>>>DENNIS ROSS: For the Israelis, the Israelis are going to have to adjust to the reality where they actually have to yield control. Israel gives up control, Palestinians give up terror. Israel adjusts to the reality that Palestinians will be independent, Palestinians accept Israel as a Jewish state. These are the two kinds of premises, or hallmarks that will make a peace agreement, likely. In the end, the Palestinians will get the bulk of the territories. In the end, something like the Clinton ideas, will be the shape of an outcome for the simple reason that the geography isn't going to change, and the demography isn't going to change. The trends in demography are not going to change. What the Clinton ideas represented were our best judgments, of what each side needed, not what they wanted, but what they needed. And ultimately, we will get back to a point where that reality reimposes itself. ,01:49:58>>>INTERVIEWER: Was there any sense of heartbreak, or dashed dreams, at the (Inaudible)? ,01:50:02>>>DENNIS ROSS: Well it was - you know, when we had the last meeting with Arafat, on January 2nd, 2001, when that meeting ended I knew what I had been involved in, everything I had been working for was over. We weren't going to achieve it. It wasn't going to happen now. It didn't mean it would never happen, but it meant it wasn't going to happen now, and it wasn't going to happen for the foreseeable future. Because I knew the pendulum was gonna swing. ,You had, had a major effort at producing a solution. And it had failed. And the Israeli government, that had been responsible for presiding over that, was going to lose. And it was going to be replaced by a government that would take a very different view. And that meant we were going to be in a different reality than we had been. It meant we were going back to crisis management, not to building a solution. And what we had also seen on the Palestinian side, is that somehow, they thought that violence could work. And the one thing Palestinians have to learn is, there will never be a Palestinian State born of violence. When they accept that reality, then peace will become a real possibility. [OFF CAMERA COMMENTS] ,01:51:20>>>DENNIS ROSS: I don't believe that Arafat could do an end of conflict deal. He could do limited deals. Of course he could accept the Israelis giving almost everything back. And maybe, even, he would have assumed certain responsibilities on security, but what he would not have done is give up some claims. And I don't believe he was prepared to give up on the right of return to Israel. He had negotiators who were looking for ways to keep the principals, but not carry it out, so that Israel's needs would be protected. He might have gone along with some kind of formula, but he always would have reverted to that, at some point when he came under pressure. The problem with Arafat is that when he came under pressure from Palestinians, instead of saying, this is it, this is what we agreed to, this is over, and we have an agreement that fulfills our aspirations and meets our needs of dignity, that he wasn't prepared to do. So, I don't believe there were any parameters in the end that he was prepared to accept. As long as the groundwork was ending the conflict. If it was something short of ending a conflict, he would have agreed to almost anything. [OFF CAMERA COMMENTS] ,The only thing that I would - when I talked before about how I would have - if I had to do it over again, I would have started on the conditioning of the public. If we had known, clearly, that Arafat could not do an end of conflict deal, and it would have been revealed by his unwillingness to condition his public for compromise, then we would've restructured what it was we were working towards. We would've worked for much more limited deals, we would've worked for an extended modus vivendi. We would've worked to improve the people-to-people interaction of the two publics, so that you made it more diffiCUlt to stereotype and demonize. We would in other words have created the conditions for an eventual settlement but one that was possible only after he was gone from the scene. I gotta go.,01:53:22>>>DENNIS ROSS: Well I think at the end, certainly after Camp David, his main foCUs was protecting Barak. He felt Barak was very exposed-alright-Certainly after Camp David, president Clinton felt that the first obligation he had was to protect Barak. Because what he saw in Barak was someone who was very exposed for the concessions he'd been willing to accept. And from a political standpoint he wanted to help him survive and his foCUs was on helping him survive, not on responding to Arafat who he felt had basically stonewalled for fifteen days. We had gone to a high-stakes summit and Arafat had stonewalled for fifteen days and Barak had put his future on the line. ,01:54:07>>>DENNIS ROSS: So from President Clinton's standpoint, the one you had to safeguard, the one you had to watch out for, was Barak. At the end of the Administration, I mean he still hoped, after the Clinton ideas were put on the table he, President Clinton still hoped (tape screw up) He understood that when Arafat didn't say, yes when he said no he understood the game was over. He wasn't about to admit it because he still hoped that maybe Barak would win the election and he knew if he came out and said there's nothing more he can do, that that would put the last nails in Barak's political coffin. And he wasn't gonna do that. But if you look at what president Clinton says about Arafat, you'll find that he feels that he simply wasn't up to it.
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Middle East Fighting Wrap
Comprehensive coverage of day's fighting
Interview with Eve Harow
Interview with Eve Harow discussing the infatada against the Jews in Gaza and justifying living there among the Arabs and hopes for peace,INTERVIEWER:,Could you please tell us your full name, spell it for us, and what you do here?, HAROW:,My name is Eve Harow, E-v-e-, H-a-r-o-w. [OFF CAMERA COMMENTS] My name is Eve Harow, E-v-e, H-a-r-o-w. And I live in (Inaudible). , , INTERVIEWER:,And what do you do here? ,10:01:19>>>, EVE HAROW:,What do I do here? Well, in addition to my husband and I trying to raise seven children, I'm very politically active; I served on the local council, for close to eight years, until just a few months ago, and I speak, whenever I can, about the situation in perspective of somebody living here. , INTERVIEWER:,What is the perspective - what is the situation, in perspective of somebody living here? [OFF CAMERA COMMENTS] , EVE HAROW:,Okay, we, along with everybody in Israel, have been living through an experiment, a ten year experiment, to do things the way the left wanted to do them, which was Oslo, and to try and create a Palestinian state, and to coexist. The experiment has failed. It's failed on a grand scale. And, over seven hundred people have been killed just in the last few years. And close to two thousand have been killed in the last decade, and thousands have been wounded. And it's not just a perspective, I think anymore, of the people living out here. Although we tend to bear the brunt of what's going on, because we live among the Arabs, more than say someone in Tel Aviv. But, something has to be done, because we can't keep going on this way. ,10:02:46>>>,And so, I think what's happened is that our perspective as people who- would have had to pay the biggest price, had this experiment worked. And in the main would have been willing to pay the price, because we also want to live in peace, just as everybody else does. I think that our perspective is now being seen by the rest of Israel. And we're seeing that they don't want coexistence, and that a two-state solution isn't a viable idea. [OFF CAMERA COMMENTS], , INTERVIEWER:,Tell me about the situation and the perspective - , EVE HAROW:,Look, for a long time, the people who live in Judea, and Samaria, and Gaza, the Jews who live here, have been - were seen as the obstacles to peace. If you go along with the idea that this belongs to the Arabs, anybody who knows even a little bit of history realizes that this was never an Arab country, and that if there's anywhere in the world that Jews have a right to live, it's in Judea and Samaria and Gaza. Judea, Tribe of Juda. The only reason that we weren't here before 1967, was because we were ethnically cleansed from here in 1948. And those of us who were living here, don't believe in ethnic cleansing. And we believe that if Jews can't live here, then what that does is it rewarded the people who killed us and drove us away. And that's why our houses are new, because everything that was Jewish was destroyed then. And it's time to rectify that particular travesty.,10:04:17>>>,On the other hand, we also very, very much want to live in peace. I'm a mother of seven, and we want our children to live. My niece's baby was killed a year and a half ago, in a terror incident. A boy that my son played with on his baseball team, Koby Mandell, was found brutally ripped to bits in a cave not far from here. Four of my neighbors were killed, and other people from the area. And we want it to stop. The question is, if this particular process is going to make things stop and get better, or just make things worse. If you establish a Palestinian state, here, where I live, if it's going to threaten the existence of the State of Israel, or if it's going to lead to coexistence. ,And what's interesting, now, when we see it on the Israeli political map, is that nobody, not even the furthest left, is talking about coexistence anymore. At best they're talking about a separation. And we know that the Palestinian Authority, and many of the people, unfortunately who live under the Palestinian Authority, have painted this, now, as an us or them situation. It's not something that Israelis wanted. But it's something that's coming from the other side. Their maps all show Palestine replacing Israel, not a Palestine, give or take where the borders would be, next to Israel. And, unfortunately, even though we as Israelis would like to think otherwise, because doesn't everybody want to live in peace, doesn't everybody want to compromise, we're still fighting for our right to exist at all in this part of the world. , INTERVIEWER:,Could you accept - would you accept your Palestinian neighbors, or would you - if things were peaceful,l would you be okay with you sharing the backyard with - or the next village with your Palestinian neighbors? ,10:05:56>>>, EVE HAROW:,I have no problem with Arabs. I'm not a racist. And I think that ultimately we are going to have to coexist in the Middle East. What I have a problem with, is people who don't accept my right to be here at all. And that is something that I think has to be dealt with. When we see that all the Holy places, for example, that were put under their control as part of Oslo, Joseph's Tomb the old synagogue in Jericho, were immediately destroyed. When we see what's going on in Temple Mount, for example, which almost everyone in the world acknowledges that when the temple is there and there's a Jewish connection to the place, it's not acknowledged at all, and there's a denial of any kind of Jewish tie to the land. And so we're not saying that there shouldn't be coexistence, and we all shouldn't be able to somehow work it out. But when you see a complete denial of our rights on the other side, and it makes us realize that we're speaking two different languages. And that's something that I think, that perhaps western audiences don't understand. We don't have to like or understand the mentality, shall we say, of the suicide bomber, but we have to know that it exists in their society and what we need to do about it. ,10:07:02>>>,So, there's sometimes I feel almost an arrogance in the part of the people from the west, like, we know democracy, we know freedom of speech, and we know how wonderful that life is. And doesn't everybody get it? Isn't that what everybody would want? And what we need to understand is that in this part of the world, that societies are not necessarily on the same page as we are there. And so, when we talk about compromise and largesse and willingness to share, the other side has interpreted it as a loss of will, and a lack of faith, and us starting to believe that maybe we really don't deserve to be here. And that's how they've seen it, and that is how they've run with it. ,And that's why, when we started a process that we thought was going to lead to peace, instead we're facing a war - really a war. And the guns that were given to them, that were suppose to stop the terrorists, are - have been, instead, been turned against us. So what happened? We didn't understand how the other side was interpreting what was going on. And we can't afford to do that. We just can't afford to do that. , INTERVIEWER:,Earlier on we were talking - you had mentioned that there were seven hundred people killed, over the past couple of years, and over the past decade a couple of thousand. But when you said people, you were only referring to the Israeli side. , EVE HAROW:,Right. , INTERVIEWER:, On the other side, as well, several thousand on the other side as well - several thousand on the other side as well, did they count? ,10:08:40>>>, EVE HAROW:,Of course they count. And every time an Arab - of course everybody killed, counts. And every time an Arab child is killed, I hurt, because he's got a mother, too. The question is who set up the situation? When Barak went to Camp David, he was ready to give away just about all of Judea, Samaria and Gaza, and throw in some of the Negev too, to make up the difference in percentages of the areas that he couldn't give away. And then we got a war. So, for one side to start a war, to send their children out as human bombs, and then to say, ‘Well, we're dying', is, is an absurdity. At any point in time, if the Arabs put down their guns, we'll be back at the negotiating table. If the Israelis and Jews put down their guns, we'll be in the sea. , INTERVIEWER:,The Palestinians feel that - they feel that people like you, the settlers, they called you an obstacle for peace and that those of you who are, you know, quote, unquote, on the far right - that you accept, that, that's where you are, are - are not interested in peace. , EVE HAROW:,Mm-hm. , INTERVIEWER:,-are not interested in coexistence, are not interested in two states. ,10:10:04>>>, EVE HAROW:,Well, those are all different things. Okay? To say that we're not interested in peace and coexistence, is not the same thing as saying that we're not interested in two states. I don't believe that there should be an Arab State west of the Jordan River. It's not viable, not economically, and not for many other reasons. But also there is a state, already, that exists on three-quarters of British Mandate Palestine, for the Arabs, and that's the country of Jordan. The majority of the population are Palestinians. So there already exists an Arab state, for the people who call themselves Palestinians. ,To say that we're not interested in peace and coexistence, is the most ridiculous thing. Okay? We want this war to stop, and we want people to stop dying on both sides. One of the arguments that I have, with actually the Israeli left, is when they also buy into that. Because it's very hard to understand why we're being hated. So, if we're being hated because we supposedly took something that belongs to the other side, how do you rectify that? You give them what they say is theirs; Judea, Samaria and Gaza. Then they don't hate us anymore. Which, again, doesn't make sense when they were offered that and they turned it down. ,Because it turns out that what they call the Nachba [PH], the catastrophe, is not the War of 1967, a war that Israel defended itself against three armies; Syria, Jordan and, and Egypt, and ended up winning Judea, Samaria and Gaza in the course of that war. That's not the nachba, that's not the catastrophe for the Arabs. For the Arabs, the catastrophe was 1948. That's what they call the nachba. What's 1948, the creation and the beginning of the existence of the State of Israel. And one - I have a map that shows - it's a map that I got from the Palestinian Businessman's Association. It's a map of destroyed Arab villages. Villages that they want to go home to, as they say. Kibbutz Negba which is in the Negev, sits on lands of five Arab villages that were destroyed in the course of the 1948 War. Efrat sits on land that was empty since, we don't know how long. So who exactly do they resent? ,10:12:00>>>,And this is a beast that I have with the Israeli left, who cast us as the villains, and as obstacles to peace, very often. When we have to understand that for the Arab world, I would say even as a whole, and not just the Palestinians, it isn't just Israel, it's every Jewish community, it's Tel Aviv, and it's Haifa that are just as much an obstacle, because they don't want peace. They want to eradicate the existence of Israel as a Jewish state, and turn it into another Arab country. And so we're all the problem in the Arab mind. And, again, this is where we have to understand, we have to start talking to each other and listen to what the other side is saying. We are all settlers. We all don't belong here. We are all occupiers. , INTERVIEWER:,Why did you come to Israel? ,10:12:41>>>, EVE HAROW:,Actually my father is a Palestinian. My father was born in Berlin to a Jewish family, in 1932. My grandfather saw what was gonna happen, and in 1933 brought them here to Palestine. Because, before 1948, the people who were Palestinians were the Jews. The Arabs calling themselves Palestinians is a relatively new invention. Even the Palestinian brigade went to help the Allies fight in World War II, it was made up of Jews. The Arabs called themselves, the Arab of southern Syria, not Palestinians. So my father grew up here as a Palestinian, and then in 1948 as an Israeli. My mother came, an American, and they met and I ended up being raised in the states. ,10:13:21>>>,But I always felt - we came to visit here when I was nine, because we have family here, and I always felt that this was home. And that I couldn't see, after two thousand years of the Jews not having a home, I was privileged to live in a time when we'd come home - I couldn't see living in Los Angeles, and not here. And I still feel that, even with everything that's going on and how difficult it is, it is a tremendous privilege to be able to be here, and to be able to - in writing the history of the Jewish people, I'm one of the people holding the pencil, not just reading the book. And that's something that, at times, just overwhelms me. Just by waking up here in the morning, I've done something for the Jewish people - past and future. For all the people who came before me, who hung on to inquisitions, and Crusades, and everything else. And they hung on so that I could be a Jew in the 21st Century. I owe them that, an heir to the future also. Because, if there is no State of Israel, I fear for the existence of the Jewish people. And if my being here serves as an obstacle to the Palestinian State, which I and so many Israelis see now as an existential threat to the State of Israel, there is no finer thing I can do than live here. [OFF CAMERA COMMENTS] , INTERVIEWER:,You have children and you've chosen this life of what used to be called pioneers, and you know, even now they're called seconds. ,10:15:15>>>, EVE HAROW:,Right. Why live here and not in Tel Aviv? Why do boys serve in a combat unit and not get a job at a desk, where they know that chances are they'll make it through their army service? Because, to be a Jew, to be an Israeli, means that you have to think as a collective. You have to think of what's the best thing for the Jewish people. Even if it isn't always necessarily the best thing for you and yours. And so, we could not exist if it wasn't for the guys in the front, literally, the ones who do the dangerous mission. ,And I think Israel also needs people like myself right now, who are here. Because, if we're not here Arafat will be right here, and he'll be looking down at the people in Tel Aviv. So, if I want to go live in Tel Aviv, and tell someone else to be here, then maybe someone else doesn't want to be here. The, in that vacuum, that's evil. And if I can prevent that from happening, then I'm willing to take the risks. I'm not happy about it. I'm not happy about the danger. But I have to look at it from, from what's best for Israel and the part that I can play. I can't be a soldier, but I can do this, so that's what I'm doing. , INTERVIEWER:,The Palestinians talk about the cycle of violence here on the - in Israel, the attacks that are - the military responses are, are not allegedly in response to terrorism. , EVE HAROW:,Right. , INTERVIEWER:,And that the Palestinians say that the ____ the terrorist attacks, ____ Israel's target assassinations, and, you know, what I mean, excursions and aggression and so on , and so forth. ,10:17:05>>>, EVE HAROW:,I think, in the world, post 9/11, there needs to be a better understanding of what's going on here. This is not just a little turf war between the Israelis and the Palestinians. This is probably nothing less than a clash of civilizations. And the reason that Israel is bearing the brunt of the terrorism, is because we are the point man for Western civilization in the Middle East. You talk about the cycle of violence, and how to break the cycle of violence. What caused nineteen suicide bombers to smash into the World Trade Center? Nothing more, nothing less than the fact that they hate the west more than anything that the west had done, except being themselves; being free society, being people who believed in openness and a liberal way of life, and not forcing anybody to do things. And that's the problem that we have in Israel. That is the threat that we hold to all the dictatorships, and the absolute monarchies, and just the bunch of thugs that control this part of the world, and control the lives of the billion people. ,10:18:08>>>,And until - and I agree wholeheartedly with what President Bush said last June, until there is a sea change in this part of the world, until the other people who live here, until the Arabs of Iran and Iraq, they have their freedoms and they have an opportunity to move on -I don't believe we'll be able to solve the Israel Palestinian problem. Because until people are happy with their lot and their leaders, they are certainly not gonna want to find a way of coexistence with me, and stop hating me. And so this - I see what's going on here as part of a much, much bigger picture, that, it's upsetting for me as an Israeli, because it means I have less control over it. ,If you break this down to just an Israeli-Palestinian issue, then we can at least pretend that we have some kind of control. But if you look at this as a map of the Middle East, and as Israel really as, just a sample of the free world here, then it's more frightening because what I say and do isn't so important. On the other hand, I can only hope that the rest of the free world will see what's happening here. ,And, there's an example given that the Jews are very often the canary in the coal mine. That whatever evil it is that's abound in the world, that starts with the Jews, will eventually, if it's not checked, make its way to the rest of the world; Nazism, Fascism, Communism, and now Islamic Fundamentalism. So when the world thought that this was just Israel's problem, so we suffered for 50, 60, 70 years from this terror, this is not something new on our own, and now we hoped that the world had seen that because it was allowed to breed, and because now we had the terrorism, and these despots have no less than nuclear and biological chemical weapons, now it's a threat for everybody, and that we need to fight this together. , INTERVIEWER:,Some people, Americans, I had a conversation with somebody that saw that the concentration camps of (Inaudible), and so forth, and that he said Israel is an apartide state. How do you respond to that? ,10:20:12>>>, EVE HAROW:,People are entitled to their own opinion. And I think what is so fascinating sometimes, I think the Jews are in some way the victims of their own success. Because who brought that whole idea of morality and fairness and equality to the world? It was the Jews. And it was the Bible, and it was what we brought that changed the world from being, you know, with paganism, and where they used to sacrifice their children to malach and to ba'al and all these kinds of idols. We changed the world. And now we're being told that we're not fair enough, and that, you know, literally we're being told to be more Catholic than the Pope, as it were. And, unfortunately whoever you spoke to who said that, that thinks Israel - [OFF CAMERA COMMENTS] ,Unfortunately, people who feel that Israel is an apartheid state, don't understand what we're going through, and it's not an apartheid state. When I vote, when I cast my ballot in ten weeks, all the Arab-Israelis will do the same. Their vote will count just as much as mine. Even though many of them are not loyal to the state of Israel, would not swear an oath of loyalty to the State of Israel. Many of them have been implicated in terror bombings, themselves, have given aid to Palestinians who were involved in terror bombing. So you could say that they're not the greatest citizens in the State of Israel, and yet they will vote for the Knesset just as I will. And so Israel is far from an apartheid state. ,And I think, especially in view of the neighborhood that we live in, and what we're up against, I think it's nothing short of phenomenal, how democratic and, and, open Israeli society is. It's possibly our greatest achievement. We're not given credit for it. , , INTERVIEWER:,What are the parameters that you could envision a peaceful solution or a peaceful coexistence to what's going on? ,10:22:03>>>, EVE HAROW:,The majority of people who call themselves Palestinians, say that they are refugees, that their grandparents came from Yaffo and Haifa in 1948. It was a war that they started, when they didn't accept the UN Partition Plan. And it was a war that they paid the price for. What's so interesting though, is that only about one hundred thousand people are actually those who left, at the time. The vast majority of the people that call themselves refugees, are children and grandchildren of the refugees. So, even an interesting legal point is, does that make them refugees? Because if children and grandchildren of refugees are also refugees, probably every Jew in the world is a refugee. Israel is certainly a country of refugees, then. Because we've been forced out and throw out of just about everywhere. ,Now they started a war that they didn't think they would lose. And the price that they paid was losing their homes. And to add insult to injury, instead of the Arab world taking them in, the Arab world that instigated them to fight against Israel, before it even began, The Arab world didn't take them in. The Arab world, their Arab brothers, put them in refugee camps, and have left them in that situation, with the collusion of the UN, now, of course, for over half a century. But, what's interesting is that the man in a Jabaliya refugee camp in Gaza, and I, share a point of view. We both feel that he's not at home. He feels that his home is in Ocko [PH], which is in Israel. The Israeli left will never let him go back to Ocko. So that's a non-starter for him. ,But what has to be done is the fulfillment of the promise of the Arab leaders, in the early 50's, made. See, in the early 50's, the Arab world threw out their Jews. That's where Sephardic Jewry comes from. Sixty percent of Israelis came in the 1950's, with the clothes on their back, because they were throw out of the Arab world. The Jews from Baghdad, some of whom their families were there for twenty-seven hundred years, since the first exile after the destruction of the first temple. It was ancient Babylon. And the Jews of Morocco, and Iraq, and Iran, and everywhere. And they came in and they were absorbed into Israeli society, and at the time, the Arab leaders said, well don't get upset at us for throwing out the Jews, we're just gonna have a population transfer. And this way we'll have room for the Arabs who fled Israel, except that they never fulfilled their side of the bargain. And they put the Arabs in refugee camps, and have left them to rot. ,And so, what needs to be done, is the Arabs in refugee camps have to finally be resettled in Arab countries. It's fifty years overdue, they've been suffering terribly, because of the intransigence of their own leaders, of people who don't care about them. And once that is done, then I think the problems are much less, and once to go back, also, to what people have spoken about before; once you have democracies and open societies in the Middle East, then people have somewhere to go. ,10:24:50>>>,Right now it's difficult for me to say to somebody, to an Arab who's living here, go live in Syria, knowing that he's going to have a miserable life, because everybody in Syria has a miserable life. But if there can be, again, an openness of the Middle East, for their own people, for their own sakes, then there's somewhere to go, there is somewhere to develop, and peace in the region really starts to be a reality for everybody. But it's not just up to Israel, here. It's up to the entire world. ,There was a study that was published a few months ago, that was done by Arabs. One of the markers of how progressive a society is, is how many books are translated into their language during the course of the year. And they found that in the last thousand years, in the last millennia, as many books have been translated into Arabic, as were translated by Spain into Spanish, in one year. It's an area of the globe - it's an area of the world that's falling off the globe, in terms of illiteracy, women not having the vote, women in Saudi Arabia can't drive. Something has to be done for these people, for their own sakes. And when they are happier and more fulfilled because they can actually not be afraid to say what they think. And I think we will find, amongst them, people who also want to live with us in peace. And things can change dramatically. One of the more -,10:26:06>>>,I think it's Bernard Lewis who is one of the foremost Islamic scholars, today. And he has said, and it's so true, that aside from Israel, the regimes in the Middle East that are most pro-west, pro-American, the people are most anti-American. Places like the Palestinian Authority, and Jordan, and Egypt, are places where, regularly, the American flag is burned, because the people hate their leaders. And in places where the regimes are seen as anti-west, the people are actually pro-west. The only place outside of Israel that had any kind of vigil, or memorial for the victims of 9/11 was Teheran. Because the Iranian people want to be free. And if we don't help them, then we, as Israelis and the West, are going to be mired in conflict for a long time. There is a lot that has to be done. , INTERVIEWER:,[OFF CAMERA COMMENTS] What's the bottom line? What is the bear minimum that you could accept, that would give you a feeling of possibility of peace? ,10:27:08>>>, EVE HAROW:,With particular -the bottom line of the bear minimum that people - that all Israelis, not just myself, of course, are willing to accept, is there has to be a complete cessation of the violence. Complete. And no looking the other way, and no saying that this bus-bombing was a sacrifice for peace. None of that. A complete cessation of violence. Because, as long as there is terror, and there are only gains for the other side, via the terror, then the lesson goes home very quickly, which is that the terror pays. So, that has to be - we have to go door to door and collect the guns. And we have to - there has to be a regime change in the Palestinian Authority. What I'm afraid of though, is that the last ten years as raised a generation of children whose textbooks talk about the, the need, the religious need or a Pan Arab need to eradicate the Jews, and to eradicate the State of Israel. , INTERVIEWER:,And the Palestinian children. ,10:27:58>>>, EVE HAROW:,Unfortunately, in the last ten years, the freedom that the Palestinian Authority got, in the last ten years, to educate their own children, has been to educate them towards hatred and away from peace. And so, if someone was still a child of six or seven, when Oslo started, he's now sixteen or seventeen. And that's his childhood, and that's his mindset. Which is that he, as a religious imperative, as an Arab imperative, as whatever, must dedicate his life to destroying the Jews, destroying the infidel, and to having Islam take over. Not just here, but in the west. And I don't know how quickly we can change that. We may have to wait until that generation no longer, or somehow, we have to un-brainwash them, because it's exactly what's happened. ,I think what's important to understand is there are no easy solutions here. You can't say, a unilateral withdrawal, and you're there and we're here and everything will be fine. We can't do it because of security reasons. Because there are missiles that can fly. And when there is a will to destroy, then we'll find a way to get in. And so what we have to do is get rid of that will to destroy, and bring back, somehow, a desire for coexistence. And there's a dearth of it now. And the first thing that has to be done is that - this band of terrorists, called the Palestinian Authority, has to be replaced one way or the other. , INTERVIEWER:,The Palestinian Authority says that, how can they expect Yasser Arafat to get control over his people when he's virtually under house arrest? , EVE HAROW:,Mm-hm. , INTERVIEWER:,And so forth. , EVE HAROW:,Right. So that's the big question. Can Arafat control his people? If he can't control his people then why are we talking to him in any form at all? Why is he still the head of the Palestinian Authority, if he's just a puppet? And if he can talk to them, and control them, then why isn't he telling them, listen, we messed up here. Violence isn't getting us what we want. We need to go back to the path of peace. So, either way, something doesn't fit. I don't know. , INTERVIEWER:,The world, and the (Inaudible) increasing animosity towards Israel and Europe, and in Canada - , EVE HAROW:,Right. , INTERVIEWER:,-and ____,and so forth. And Palestinians are the underdogs, the freedom fighters in Israel appear to be oppressors, and the occupiers, and the imperialists, and so on, and so forth. What is your response? ,10:30:23>>>, EVE HAROW:,I think the world has, unfortunately fallen into a mindset of appeasement. Which is that the Arab problem is just against the Jews. And therefore if, you know, the Jews are the problem. And so if we can somehow get rid of them, or somehow make them have all the difficult sacrifices, then everything will be fine. And again, blinding themselves to the reality, which is that it's really Western civilization and free societies, and Israel is an example of that. That's the bottom line problem. ,I also think that - one of the arguments that the Palestinians use, and quite successfully, is that they're the ultimate victims of the holocaust. Because we came over here from Europe, and did to them, in their version, exactly what's being done to us in Europe. And of course it's not true, and most people don't know that the Mufti here, at the time, was a big Nazi sympathizer, and that there were plans for a concentration camp, no less, drawn up to rid the world of the Jews of the Land of Israel. And that there were massacres of Jews going on all the time; pre-state, pre-occupation, pre-anything - pre, even second world war. So, that amity of Arabs towards the Jews, has been here for a long time. ,But, what's interesting is the Europeans like this version very much, because then they can feel a little less guilty over what happened on their soil, in World War II. Because they can say, you see when Israel is in power, they do to everybody else what we do to them. And so, it makes them feel a little less bad about their complicity in what happened during World War II. But, of course, it's not true, and I have yet to see on a list of terrorists, anyone named Stanley Cohen, for example. So, on the one hand there's a world that understands, what the danger is here of Islamic Fundamentalism. And strangely enough, though, they say, well in the Arab-Israeli conflict, it's the Jews who are causing all the problems. And there needs to be a slight awakening here, about what's really going on, and the battle that we're all facing together, because if we don't all join together on this, we could all go down together. , INTERVIEWER:,There are some who say that the Arab leaders in 1948 that planned to create refugee camps, as well, _____, and they had a long range goal with the refugee camps. That with the wounds that would fester in Israel's side, and eventually it would infect and it would erupt - , EVE HAROW:,[OVERLAP] Mm-hm, as it happened. , INTERVIEWER:,Can you continue that metaphor? ,10:32:45>>>, EVE HAROW:,It's possible that the Arab world, when they put their own people in refugee camps, knew that they were gonna use them for the next half a century, and that they were gonna breed hatred. And you could use these people as their frontline, in their war against Israel. And it's possible not. It's possible that they just simply didn't care, didn't want to be bothered, and dumped them in refugee camps. It doesn't matter. Because the situation exists, today, and has to be dealt with. And what the world needs to understand is that it's not Israel's responsibility. Israel will do a lot to help repatriate the refugees, join a fund, or whatever it is, to give these people a normal life on a humanitarian level. We will do more than their own people will do. Where's all the oil money? Where's the Saudi Arabian money and the Iraqi money? They have so much. How come they can't help their own people? It's just - when I compare it to how Israel welcomed the Jewish refugees in the early 1950's, from the Arab countries, it's just astonishing to me, the lack of caring on the Arab side, for their own people. , INTERVIEWER:,What do you see in a hundred years? , EVE HAROW:, What do I see in a hundred years? Being, believe it or not, an optimistic person, I hope that there will really be peace here in a hundred years. It's time, it's time for all of us to turn those swords into ploughshares. , INTERVIEWER:,Some historians take the larger view-(Inaudible) to say - historians say that the Arabs take a larger view - , EVE HAROW:,Mm-hm. , INTERVIEWER:, And their - you know, this - today the battle is just part of a larger battle. , EVE HAROW:,Yes. , INTERVIEWER:,And it took up two hundred years to get the Christians out through The Crusades, and (Inaudible). ,10:34:32>>>, EVE HAROW:,[OVERLAP] Mm-hm. There's no question that the Arabs have a lot more patience than we do. And that they see us as just an anachronism in what they call their Middle East. If they were the way they once were, it would be easier, maybe, to see their point of view. Like if, I mean who, in the Middle Ages, when Christianity in Europe was wallowing for like four hundred years and went nowhere, there were a lot of good things that came out of the Islamic world; Algebra, music, and art, and medicine. What happened? Why the stagnation? I think they have to get their own house in order. And I think what scares them is how our house is so in order. Fifty years of constantly living on the edge, and on wars. ,And Israel is - and high tech, we're at the top of the world. We've got an astronaut, an Israeli astronaut flying in space as part of the team. He's not just sitting as a passenger. He's an intregal part of the team. Nobel prizes from every which way. I think it scares them, how little - how much we've been able to accomplish with so many forces arrayed against us, and how they just keep going backwards. And that fear is what also drives the hatred. And so I think we've got to help them, for the little people's sake. Not for the leader's sake. The leaders can go home. The leaders aren't good for anybody except themselves. But, for their own people's sake, we've got to help them, because this area has tremendous potential, but only if we work together. , INTERVIEWER:,In the end do you think that _____'s solution could work? Do you think you could abide by that - live by that? , EVE HAROW:,A two-state solution, today, means creating a terror state, with an Israel, nine miles wide. Which means that Israel will be, if not destroyed, will have a terrible, terrible war with a terrible cost in lives. So today, there is no talking about a two-state solution, west of the Jordan River. It's like creating another Afghanistan, or another Iraq. Who needs that? Nobody needs that. Israel for sure not. But not the west either. ,And so, I think, first we wait and see the change. Perhaps I sound a little bit skeptical. But after ten years of broken promises, I think I have the right to be skeptical. Because, if I'm right about what's going on here, then Israel's really - it's existence is, you know, threatened. And that's not a risk that I'm willing to take. We're willing to take a lot of risks for peace and we did. And we gave them guns because they said they were gonna use their guns to protect everybody from the terrorists, and instead they turned the guns on us. And instead the police force and the Palestinian Authority has become one of the prime movers and shakers of terrorism, fatah. So, I think we have a right to be a little wary, here. The stakes are just too high to turn a blind eye. , INTERVIEWER:,If there were an election in Palestinian, today, or tomorrow, and -you know, Israel would have safe and secure boundaries, however that is defined. That in a two-state solution the majority would probably vote for it - ,10:37:44>>>, EVE HAROW:,If you have a two-state solution, but again, you have a despot or a dictator on the other side, then you assume they probably have them in the rest of the Arab world. When you have that in the PA, today, which is - he doesn't represent his people. That's what democracy means. Democracy means, the majority rules. But you don't have that in the Arab world, and not in the PA, for sure. And so, to create a state, that's the same mistakes that were made in Oslo. ,To say that Arafat is the - you know, he's a representative of his people, and either he was too weak or he, himself, was playing a game, one of his so-called moderate ministers, Faisal Hussein, who died a couple years ago in Kuwait, and he was the moderate in the Palestinian Authority, who was a minister for Jerusalem affairs. And the last interview that he gave, before he died, was to an Egyptian newspaper, and he called Oslo a Trojan Horse. Meaning, it was just a way of knowing Israel's defenses, in order to be able to eradicate Israel. And he was the moderate. ,So, we need to work on building back a little bit of trust. And they have to prove it, because we have no reason to trust them anymore. Everything that we're hearing, from the Palestinian Authority in the Arab world, shows us that they are still an implacable enemy. And we want peace desperately, but we don't the peace of the grave, and we don't want to commit suicide. And we have the right to be here, too. And we're willing to compromise. But not on our existence. , INTERVIEWER:,But my question was about the Israeli majority. , EVE HAROW:,Mm-hm. , INTERVIEWER:,Who would probably just fight the fears and the - and you articulate would still, today, given the choice, would probably go for a two-state solution as it's being presented in very different presentations. ,10:39:33>>>, EVE HAROW:,The Israeli public needs a little bit of educating here, too. Because when we started Oslo. Israelis didn't think that we were gonna give them a Palestinian state, because they deserved it, because it had been their land, and we took it away. Israelis knew better. But we were so desperate for peace that we said, fine, you know, what? Let's split the land, even though we have a right to it. But we wanted there to be peace. And if this is what they're saying is the obstacle to them giving us peace, because they want this piece of land, have their own state, fine we'll do it. In the course of the last ten years, somehow that idea got lost. And because of very poor public relations and explaining our position, now it's become conventional wisdom that they deserve a state. And that's why, despite all the terrorism, we have a Prime Minister who is talking about a Palestinian State, like it's a fait accompli and there's nothing you can do. ,And I think there is something we can do. We can educate. We can explain to people why we're not just not being nice when we say that we don't want there to be a Palestinian State. But that one already exists in Jordan, that was the intention. And to set up another one would just destabilize the region and create another terror state. And so a lot of explaining has to be done, but the facts and the history and the truth is with us. It's just that, unfortunately, people don't know. [OFF CAMERA COMMENTS] , INTERVIEWER:,Anything that we haven't covered? ,10:41:10>>>, EVE HAROW:,I love this country. I'm not going anywhere. Because I really feel that we have the right to be here. What disturbs me is the double standard that is very often given when people talk about, we can't think about moving Arabs, because that's transfer, yet they talk about dismantling settlements, which means transferring me. And so, these are hypocrises that bother me very much. And I think that maybe people don't understand what they're saying. That if you don't want people to be moved, then I shouldn't be moved either. ,And if you don't want there to be illegal building, or so called of Jewish communities here, then you have to stop illegal building of Arab houses which is going on right outside my window. Because, to say, if that the Jews can't build, but the Arabs can, why have negotiations? They're saying that it's theirs, the whole thing is a farce. And I don't think the people understand enough, about Israeli rights. They see us with tanks [TAPE COMES TO END] -.