Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Condi Still Doesn't Get It

Remarks With Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs Stephen Smith, M.P. After Their Meeting Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Washington, DC
January 28, 2008
Available in full at www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2008/01/99762.htm.

... QUESTION: Madame Secretary, do you support President Abbas' forces taking control of Gaza's breached border with Egypt as you indicated last week on your trip to Europe? And should the EU monitors return to try and calm the situation. …

SECRETARY RICE: Hi, Sue. Two unrelated questions, all right. On the matter of Gaza, first of all, let me say that I had a conversation last night with Foreign Minister Aboul Gheit of Egypt. We understand the complexity of that situation …

[There are complexities, but at heart the situation is relatively simple: Gaza is ruled by a terrorist gang which prefers lobbing Kassam missiles at kindergartens in Sederot to building a society in which its people can live normal lives.

By pretending it's more complicated, we make the situation far worse than it need be.]

… and want very much to see a resolution that would return order to that border. We are in discussions with all the parties about how to do that. I think that there are two very important elements that I would underscore. The first is that Hamas should of course do everything that it can to do what it has not yet done, which is to use whatever capacity it has to stop the rocket attacks against Israel, because that is one of the - that is the essential problem out of Gaza.

[Unfortunately, expecting Hamas to stop rocket attacks instead of launching them is unrealistic.]

Secondly, we have been very clear that there should be no humanitarian cost to the innocent people of Gaza who simply have the bad fortune to be in Gaza after Hamas launched its illegal coup against the legitimate institutions of the Palestinian Authority.

[The people in Gaza are not so innocent; they voted for Hamas, knowing full well for whom they were voting.]

We do support, as the Quartet did in its statement several weeks ago, the concept of a Palestinian Authority presence to begin to introduce some order to that border. There would be many details that would have to be worked out, and I can't comment on any specific detail because this is obviously a very complex - would be a very complex operation in itself. But we've said that in concept it should be supported and that parties should look to see if that might be one way to handle the situation.

[It's a little late. Even before Hamas destroyed the border, Egypt allowed and even facilitated the transfer of massive amounts of weapons, ammunition and explosives to the Hamas terrorists in Gaza. Even with determination, it would not be easy to undo the damage; ignoring the problem makes it even worse.

For the good not only of the Israelis, but of the Palestinian Arabs themselves, it's long past time to abandon a false evenhandedness and moral equivalency which treats the non-issue of Jews living in normal communities in disputed portions of their homeland with Arab terrorists murdering innocent people.]

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