George Will: Mideast peace process is ‘biggest threat to peace’
In George Will’s world, no peace process is the best path to peace in the Middle East.
The conservative columnist told ABC’s Christiane Amanpour Sunday that restarting the peace process would do more harm than good in Palestine.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced this week that there will be new peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians.
“That’s got to be good, George,” Amanpour prompted Will.
“Oh, no, it doesn’t,” replied Will. “You can argue that the peace process is the biggest threat to peace in Palestine.”
“You can also argue that process is better than no process,” interrupted Amanpour.
“That is precisely what I was arguing against. The fact is 19 years ago — almost a generation ago, we had a big hullabaloo because in Madrid in 1991, the Palestinians and Israelis engaged in direct talks. Nineteen years later, we’re doing it again,” Will explained.
Will went on to explain some of the biggest differences between Israelis and Palestinians but didn’t say how a lack of peace process would help solve those problems.
“Here’s what we don’t agree on. [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud] Abbas has not said that Israel has a right to exist as the Jewish state for the Jewish people,” he said.
“He recognizes Israel’s right to exist,” said Amanpour.
“Not as a Jewish state for the Jewish people. He’s been asked dozens of times to say it and never has and I suspect he never will,” he said.
“[Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu says the Palestinian refugee problem will be solved outside of Israel,” said Will.
“Mr. Abbas wants East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state. Mr. Netanyahu says Jerusalem is and will remain the undivided capitol of Israel. Mr. Netanyahu says a West Bank state — a Palestinian state on the West Bank — must be demilitarized, must be forbidden to have relations with Hamas, with Hezbollah and Iran. It must have on it an Israeli presence to make sure weapons do not come in the eastern border,” he continued.
This video is from ABC’s This Week, broadcast Aug. 22, 2010.