We have our answer to whether or not Israel is expected to deal with terrorists: A resounding yes.
QUESTION: First of all, Secretary Rice, we just got the statement, but basically it said in the statement something about militias not candidates for — armed militias not being candidates for elections. So let me put it another way. Prime Minister Sharon said last week that he will not — that Israel will not help in — if Hamas is part of the election. What is your view on that?
And also for the Europeans, what is there — maybe Foreign Minister Straw. Since the EU said yesterday that it’s about to, I think, 215 million Euro was the number to Gaza, what do we do to assure that money that goes into the Palestinian territories will not go into, you know, failed projects that might go to waste?
SECRETARY RICE: Before turning to my European colleague, let me just say that I think the Secretary General has said very well that there is concern that any democratic process must observe that you cannot have kind of an armed option within the democratic process. But we understand that the Palestinian political system is in transition, that it is in transition toward a democratic system, and that that has to be a Palestinian process.
We would hope that the elections can go forward and that everyone will cooperate to make those elections go forward because elections are fundamental to the continued evolution and development of the Palestinian process. That said, again, we have noted that ultimately it is the case that there is a fundamental contradiction between armed activities and the political process, armed activities that are outside the monopoly of the state on violence and the political process. And so that is a matter of principle ultimately.
We understand that this is a transition and I think everybody understands that this is a transitional process.
SECRETARY RICE: This is going to be a Palestinian process and I think we have to give the Palestinians some room for the evolution of their political process.
But it’s not just Israel and the palestinians. Now the UN is allowing
Iran Hizbullah to dictate the process.
QUESTION: The question is the implementation of the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon and also the signing of a peace treaty between Lebanon and Israel.
SECRETARY GENERAL ANNAN: The dismantling of Palestinian militia in Lebanon does come under 1559, but this is something that the Lebanese authorities will have to handle. And of course, we have discussed this issue with them and they will do it their way in time and organize themselves to do that.
The other aspects of 1559 that we have implemented were discussed here in this house and in this room.
As to the signing of a peace agreement between Lebanon and Israel, that is a matter that the two countries will have to discuss. I’m not sure that on the Lebanese side they are ready to do that as long as they believe the Shebba Farms is still under contention. And I think in time that may happen, but I don’t see it on the cards today.
I should like to point out that the UN certified that Israel withdrew to accepted borders, and the Sheba’a Farms area is not Lebanese land. But now the world is backing down from that and allowing the terrorists to dictate the terms.
So there you have it. The Bush and Blair administrations bristle with anger anytime the press says they ought to sit down and talk with Al Qaeda, but they’re perfectly content to say that Israel should negotiate with two groups that are actively working to destroy them, and have stated as much, and will continue to do so as long as the world continues to reward terrorists that kill mostly Jews.
The Exception Clause, in full bloom.