Washington [March 3, 1999] U.S. Senator Connie Mack (R-FL) tonight condemned the Palestinian leadership for failing to abandon the incitement of hatred, persecution and terrorism toward Israel and called President Clinton's current policy towards the Middle East "foolish appeasement." Mack said:

"How is it possible to engage in peace negotiations with people who maintain the right of obliteration, the feeling of hatred, or with people who harbor the dream of one day destroying another people?

"Peace is a matter of the heart. I believe in the depths of every person's heart is a desire to live in peace. But what I saw which was the outcome of Palestinian Authority rule convinced me that hearts and minds are set on other goals. The Palestinian leadership does not want peace - they want, first their own state, which they can control with total power. Then they want to use that state to eliminate the State of Israel.

"Let's be clear. The peace process, to be meaningful, must be about more than rules and laws and lines on maps. We can reach a short-term agreement on these points. But if the Palestinian leadership fails to abandon incitement of hatred, persecution, and terrorism, then we are all dreaming - only dreaming. And our President's behavior must be labeled "foolish appeasement."

"Today, the Israeli people are exhausted by fifty years of violence against their homes and families - of sending their sons and daughters into the army - and they dream of a promised "peace now." This is our hope and our dream. But we must not get confused. History is replete with examples of compromises which bring terror and destroy dreams.

"In the United States, many people seem to think that if we do not confront these obstacles to peace, and if we look the other way, then we will be able to come to an agreement. The reality, however, is just the opposite. If we don't acknowledge the attitudes and acts of those at the peace table, then the peace process is over already and we just won't admit it. In other words, the surest way to kill the peace process is to avoid confrontation, to fear upsetting a belligerent force, and to avoid addressing incitement, violence, persecution and terrorism. The only way to keep the peace process alive is to focus on truth, freedom, security and justice.

"The United States must demonstrate principled leadership and end the appeasement that perpetuates the cycle of violence....We should do three things: First, we should insist upon the strict adherence to Oslo and the reciprocity codified at Wye. Second, we should stop paying Arafat. And third, we must aggressively seek the bringing of Palestinian terrorists who kill American citizens.

"These are very basic principles. Now is the time for a return to our principled stand that the only way to truly attain peace is to support freedom, democracy, and justice and oppose the cycle of hatred. We must face tyranny and oppression where it exists, condemn it, and stand up for peace - real peace based on security, freedom and a change of heart."


 HOME  Maccabean  comments