George Bush: Enough is enough. The violence must end

From the statement on the Middle East by the President of the United States in the White House Rose Garden, Washington
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The Independent Online

When an 18-year-old Palestinian girl is induced to blow herself up, and in the process kills a 17-year-old Israeli girl, the future, itself, is dying -- the future of the Palestinian people and the future of the Israeli people. We mourn the dead, and we mourn the damage done to the hope of peace, the hope of Israel's and the Israelis' desire for a Jewish state at peace with its neighbours; the hope of the Palestinian people to build their own independent state.

Terror must be stopped. No nation can negotiate with terrorists. For there is no way to make peace with those whose only goal is death.

The Chairman of the Palestinian Authority has not consistently opposed or confronted terrorists. At Oslo and elsewhere Chairman Arafat renounced terror as an instrument of his cause, and he agreed to control it. He's not done so.

The situation in which he finds himself today is largely of his own making. He's missed his opportunities, and thereby betrayed the hopes of the people he's supposed to lead. Given his failure, the Israeli government feels it must strike at networks that are killing its citizens.

Yet, Israel must understand that its response to these recent attacks is only a temporary measure. All parties have their own responsibilities. And all parties owe it to their own people to act.

We all know today's situation runs the risk of aggravating long-term bitterness and undermining relationships that are critical to any hope of peace. I call on the Palestinian people, the Palestinian Authority and our friends in the Arab world to join us in delivering a clear message to terrorists: blowing yourself up does not help the Palestinian cause. To the contrary, suicide bombing missions could well blow up the best and only hope for a Palestinian state.

All states must keep their promise, made in a vote in the United Nations, to actively oppose terror in all its forms. No nation can pick and choose its terrorist friends. I call on the Palestinian Authority and all governments in the region to do everything in their power to stop terrorist activities, to disrupt terrorist financing, and to stop inciting violence by glorifying terror [in] state-owned media, or telling suicide bombers they are martyrs. They're not martyrs. They're murderers. And they undermine the cause of the Palestinian people.

Israel faces hard choices of its own. Its government has supported the creation of a Palestinian state that is not a haven for terrorism. Yet, Israel also must recognise that such a state needs to be politically and economically viable.

Consistent with the Mitchell plan, Israeli settlement activity in occupied territories must stop. And the occupation must end through withdrawal to secure and recognised boundaries consistent with United Nations Resolutions 242 and 338. Ultimately, this approach should be the basis of agreements between Israel and Syria and Israel and Lebanon. Israel should also show a respect, a respect for and concern about the dignity of the Palestinian people who are and will be their neighbours. It is crucial to distinguish between the terrorists and ordinary Palestinians.

Israel is facing a terrible and serious challenge. For seven days, it has acted to root out terrorist nests. America recognises Israel's right to defend itself from terror. Yet, to lay the foundations of future peace, I ask Israel to halt incursions into Palestinian-controlled areas and begin the withdrawal from those cities it has recently occupied.

These are the elements of peace in the Middle East. And now, we must build the road to those goals. Decades of bitter experience teach a clear lesson: progress is impossible when nations emphasise their grievances and ignore their opportunities. Storms of violence cannot go on. Enough is enough.

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