A Speech President Bush Could Have Given In Knesset

Following is the speech George Bush could have presented in the Israel Knesset if he was concerned about the security of Israel and its neighbors.

I am happy to be present on this momentous day which celebrates the 60th birthday of Israel as an independent nation. The people of Israel–Jews, Muslims, and Christians– are a beachhead of democracy in the region. I come as a friend, and, as a friend, it is important that I offer advice since I care about the future of this nation. The nation of Israel is isolated in the Middle East and must address those issues which have led to the current situation of being cut off from other countries in the area.

Let me begin by admitting that I made a mistake in supporting a policy of no negotiation with groups and nations with whom I disagree. The policy of refusing to negotiate has failed. Over thirty years ago, President Richard Nixon, who had supported for years a polcy of having no interactions with the government of Communist China, admitted his policy had failed. He initiated a dialogue with the Chinese Communist government whose leader, Mao Tse-tung had most probably killed 25 million people and was undoubtedly a terrorist in the truest sense of the word. Nixon and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, talked with and worked out agreements with their hated rival. We know that policy proved productive to the cause of peace in Asia and the slow, but steady, growth of democracy in China.

It is time to end policies of silence since they don’t work. Every American president from Truman to Reagan negotiated with Soviet Communist leaders despite the fact those individuals were dedicated to the overthrow of capitalism and supported terrorist groups in the world. Dialogue and negotiation maintained peace in the area. It is time to reach out to Hamas and Hizbullah and work with the Palestinian Authority led by President Abbas in order to create the basis for peace in the region. We must engage Syria and Iran as part of a new dialogue for peace.

I urge involving the talents and expertise of important world figures such as the UN Secretary General and individuals like Nelson Mandela. I suggest the Palestinian Authority ask the governmnt of Turkey to dispatch troops to the Gaza area who would ensure the non-importantion of military weapons and work to end rocket attacks on Israel. It is time for Israel to accept the Hamas offer of a cease fire and allow Turkish toops to enforce it. This could be a positive first step in the beginning of a new dialogue for peace.

After the end of World War II, the United States and European nations, worked under th auspices of the Marshall Plan to create the basis for economic cooperation and an end to traditional hatreds. Although, Germany had killed over thirty million Europeans, it’s leaders were welcomed as partners. I propose creation of a new version of the Marshall Plan which would bring together all nations of the Middle East. The plan would be funded initially at the rate of $25 billion a year. This plan would require Middle Eastern Arab nations to work in a cooperative modality to develop an economic plan which would rejuvenate the entire region. All plans would have to be agreed upon both by Israel and Arab nations. A condition of the plan would be that all members cease military support or action against fellow members.

I also call for the creation of a new university that would be funded by the Billy Gates Foundation and the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This Middle Eastern University would be open to students from all nations, it would be free, and its task would be to create a new generation of Middle Eastern young people who are dedicated to peace in the region. The MEU would bring together the best minds in the fields of science, technology, medicine, and the liberal arts who would work on a transnational basis to ensure peace and prosperity in the region.

The time has come to cease using outworn expressions such as “appeasement” when discussing peace. We can no longer afford to pursue the path of isolation. We need Iran and Syria actively engaged in the fight for peace and prosperity. I recognize what I propose will frighten many people in Israel as well as Muslims. The road of isolation leads only to isolation. Peace entails risks but the alternative is continuance of the current policy of non-enagement which has only increased the risk of violence. The road to peace begins with a first step. The first step is ending the current situation in Gaza that both endangers Muslims as well as Israelis. Hopefully, after the first step, there will be a more active movement towards peace.