The Peace Test - An Opinion
The Peace Test
Bush offered Palestinians a state; they said no deal.
By Clifford D. May
The anniversary passed with scarcely a mention. Six years ago, on June 24, 2002, President Bush turned American policy in the Middle East in a new direction. In a ground-breaking speech, he announced that the U.S. would support the creation of a Palestinian state. His only condition was that Palestinians first choose “leaders not compromised by terror.” He asked also that they “confront corruption,” and “build a practicing democracy based on tolerance and liberty.”
Bush was optimistic that this would come to pass, and that by the time he left the White House, a Palestinian state and a Jewish state would be living side by side in peace. In the years that followed, the stars appeared to be aligning.
With that in mind, in 2002 Bush said: “If liberty can blossom in the rocky soil of the West Bank and Gaza, it will inspire millions of men and women around the globe who are equally weary of poverty and oppression. . . . This moment is both an opportunity and a test for all parties in the Middle East: an opportunity to lay the foundations for future peace; a test to show who is serious about peace and who is not.”
He was right. It was a test. And now it’s time to be candid about the results. Israelis, Americans, and Europeans are serious about peace. The enemies of Israelis, Americans, and European are serious about defeating Israelis, Americans, and Europeans. It’s as simple — and as complex — as that.