The Jordan Times
November 6, 2007 - 12:57pm

Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni recently told US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that her country’s security comes ahead of the establishment of the Palestinian state.

Livni cannot be more wrong. Her perception of realities and her grasp of politics, as expressed in these utterances, show poor statesmanship.

She should know that Israel’s security and safety cannot be attained in the absence of an independent Palestinian state. The years since the creation of Israel have constantly proved that, and there is no reason to believe things will change if the situation stays the same.

The creation of the much sought-after Palestinian state is a sine qua non to Israel’s strategic peace.

It is about time Israeli leaders rearrange their priorities and seriously consider the prospects for regional peace and stability.

The Israeli foreign minister surely knows that the security of the entire region is an interconnected matter; no country can hope to live in safety when that of its neighbours is nonexistent or threatened.

As long as regional conflicts are raging all around, many having occupation as explicit reason, Israel cannot expect to feel secure.

The Palestinian dimension is often evoked when flare-ups occur in this area. To once and for all deprive all and sundry of the excuse to start hostilities, Israel should wisely solve the problem.

A Palestinian state alongside Israel is more likely to grant the much-touted security than violence, aggression and occupation.

As long as the resolution of the Palestinian problem is held in abeyance by the Israeli intransigence and selfish goals, the Middle East countries will continue to be insecure.

His Majesty King Abdullah has warned that time is not on the side of peace and that the parties must not lose the opportunity presented to them by the upcoming Annapolis peace conference to reach an agreement on the final status issues.

Rice should work to impress on Israeli officials, during her talks with them on the eve of the peace talks, the importance of making the kind of decisions that befit the occasion and benefit all.

The US has the clout to do that, and failure on Israel’s part to make peace will mark failure for Washington as well.


American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017