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Spring 2016

Israel - Beyond the Headlines


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Bush commitment to Israel.

Reader comment on: A Preliminary Assessment of Obama's Speech on the Middle East

Submitted by Ely Doron (United States), May 19, 2011 21:14

Letter from U.S. President George W. Bush to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon
April 14, 200421
His Excellency Ariel Sharon
Prime Minister of Israel
Dear Mr. Prime Minister,
...Thank you for your letter setting out your disengagement plan.
The United States remains hopeful and determined to find a way forward toward a resolution
of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. I remain committed to my June 24, 2002, vision of two states
living side by side in peace and security as the key to peace, and to the roadmap as the route to
get there.
We welcome the disengagement plan you have prepared, under which Israel would withdraw
certain military installations and all settlements from Gaza, and withdraw certain military
installations and settlements in the West Bank. These steps described in the plan will mark
real progress toward realizing my June 24, 2002, vision, and make a real contribution towards
peace. We also understand that, in this context, Israel believes it is important to bring new
opportunities to the Negev and the Galilee. We are hopeful that steps pursuant to this plan,
consistent with my vision, will remind all states and parties of their own obligations under the
The United States appreciates the risks such an undertaking represents. I therefore want to
reassure you on several points.
First, the United States remains committed to my vision and to its implementation as described
in the roadmap. The United States will do its utmost to prevent any attempt by anyone to
impose any other plan. Under the roadmap, Palestinians must undertake an immediate
cessation of armed activity and all acts of violence against Israelis anywhere, and all official
Palestinian institutions must end incitement against Israel. The Palestinian leadership must
act decisively against terror, including sustained, targeted, and effective operations to stop
terrorism and dismantle terrorist capabilities and infrastructure. Palestinians must undertake
a comprehensive and fundamental political reform that includes a strong parliamentary
democracy and an empowered prime minister.
Second, there will be no security for Israelis or Palestinians until they and all states, in the region
and beyond, join together to fight terrorism and dismantle terrorist organizations. The United
States reiterates its steadfast commitment to Israel's security, including secure, defensible
borders, and to preserve and strengthen Israel's capability to deter and defend itself, by itself,
against any threat or possible combination of threats.
Third, Israel will retain its right to defend itself against terrorism, including to take actions
against terrorist organizations. The United States will lead efforts, working together with Jordan,
Egypt, and others in the international community, to build the capacity and will of Palestinian
institutions to fight terrorism, dismantle terrorist organizations, and prevent the areas from
which Israel has withdrawn from posing a threat that would have to be addressed by any other
means. The United States understands that after Israel withdraws from Gaza and/or parts
of the West Bank, and pending agreements on other arrangements, existing arrangements
regarding control of airspace, territorial waters, and land passages of the West Bank and Gaza
will continue.
Dore Gold 49
The United States is strongly committed to Israel's security and well-being as a Jewish state.
It seems clear that an agreed, just, fair and realistic framework for a solution to the Palestinian
refugee issue as part of any final status agreement will need to be found through the
establishment of a Palestinian state, and the settling of Palestinian refugees there, rather than in
As part of a final peace settlement, Israel must have secure and recognized borders, which
should emerge from negotiations between the parties in accordance with UNSC Resolutions
242 and 338. In light of new realities on the ground, including already existing major Israeli
population centers, it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations
will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949, and all previous efforts to
negotiate a two-state solution have reached the same conclusion. It is realistic to expect that
any final status agreement will only be achieved on the basis of mutually agreed changes that
reflect these realities.
I know that, as you state in your letter, you are aware that certain responsibilities face the State
of Israel. Among these, your government has stated that the barrier being erected by Israel
should be a security rather than political barrier, should be temporary rather than permanent,
and therefore not prejudice any final status issues including final borders, and its route should
take into account, consistent with security needs, its impact on Palestinians not engaged in
terrorist activities.
As you know, the United States supports the establishment of a Palestinian state that is viable,
contiguous, sovereign, and independent, so that the Palestinian people can build their own
future in accordance with my vision set forth in June 2002 and with the path set forth in the
roadmap. The United States will join with others in the international community to foster the
development of democratic political institutions and new leadership committed to those
institutions, the reconstruction of civic institutions, the growth of a free and prosperous
economy, and the building of capable security institutions dedicated to maintaining law and
order and dismantling terrorist organizations.
A peace settlement negotiated between Israelis and Palestinians would be a great boon not
only to those peoples but to the peoples of the entire region. Accordingly, the United States
believes that all states in the region have special responsibilities: to support the building of
the institutions of a Palestinian state; to fight terrorism, and cut off all forms of assistance to
individuals and groups engaged in terrorism; and to begin now to move toward more normal
relations with the State of Israel. These actions would be true contributions to building peace in
the region.
Mr. Prime Minister, you have described a bold and historic initiative that can make an important
contribution to peace. I commend your efforts and your courageous decision which I support.
As a close friend and ally, the United States intends to work closely with you to help make it a
George W.Bush.

Shalom.Ely Doron

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Other reader comments on this item


Bibi King of Israel. [113 words]

Ely Doron 

May 20, 2011 15:39

pre-1967 borders [48 words]

Mireille Plotke 

May 20, 2011 12:11

Israel is a sacred gift from God to the Jews [42 words]


May 19, 2011 22:19

1967 Borders...Pushing Israel into the Sea. [89 words]


May 19, 2011 21:46

⇒ Bush commitment to Israel. [1012 words]

Ely Doron 

May 19, 2011 21:14

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