Israel and Palestine: After Obama, Waiting for Trump

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TIME: 25th January 2017, 13:00 – 14:00

VENUE: Committee Room 3a, House of Lords,
Palace of Westminster, London, SW1A 0AA

SPEAKER: Ambassador Arthur Koll
Former Deputy Director-General, Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Lord Turnberg: We have seen such impressive, perhaps momentous, events happening in the last couple of months. A week is a long time in politics and in the Middle East, three days is a long time and we have seen quite a lot of things happening recently. For the Middle East and Israel, the first question arises in relation to the UN Security Council Resolution 2334 and John Kerry’s speech thereafter. A number of questions that I hope Ambassador Koll will help us with some important questions. Firstly, was this simply frustration and anger on behalf of President Obama who had been long frustrated with Mr Netanyahu and the business about the settlements of was it a long term policy? It seems like it was pretty long term but in the end Netanyahu, with whom Obama never got on unfortunately, created this issue and the Kerry speech followed on from that. Perhaps a more important question is whether it will bring peace processes closer or further away or make Mr Abbas more or less interested in negotiating? Also, would he not feel that he could gain whatever he needs at the UN and not need to talk to Israel and in Israel will it harden attitudes and makes people like Mr Bennett emerge as a force to go against the resolution. The question is: is peace closer or further away as a result of this resolution? Then we have the so called Paris Peace Conference which the French ran and invited seventy countries but not Israel and not Palestine; it is a bit of a damp squib it seems and it didn’t say anything very new. I asked a question in the House of Lords last week of the Minister: can she speculate what the Government’s attitude would be if the French had a meeting with seventy countries to look at the situation in Northern Ireland but didn’t invite the Irish or the British. She answered quite nicely as you would imagine from an expert Minister. So, will that make any difference? I don’t think it will but I will be interested to hear what is said. Then finally of course we have the Trump question: what is Mr Trump going to do? He seems to be leaning towards Israel and talking about moving an embassy but other Presidents have done the same and may find that more difficult then they think. He has appointed an ambassador that is very pro-Israel and will that be helpful or not helpful? We will have to see. Mr Netanyahu in the recent days has approved some more settlement building. We have a whole host of questions and we are very fortunate today in having Ambassador Arthur Koll here with us to answer them and he is going to tell us what is what. Ambassador Arthur Koll is the Former Deputy Director General of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs and has been an ambassador in Serbia and Montenegro and has a variety of other very impressive roles which fit very well to help us examine all these important recent events.

Arthur Koll: Thank you Lord Turnberg for your very kind words and for hosting us. You raised so many questions that I am not sure I will be able to give all the answers to and maybe raise some more; that is a very Jewish way of dealing with issues to not answer and to raise more questions. I, of course, want to thank the Henry Jackson Society for organising this event; it is really a pleasure to be here. One of the things that I did in the past was to spend four years in our embassy here in London. I am a little bit familiar with Britain and the wonderful exemplary tradition of democracy that I am honoured to witness first hand. I am always proud to say that the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, from day one, decided to copy the British system of Civil Service and Foreign Service and the professional attitude that you have here. We are talking, however, about the Middle East and the three major developments that took place in the last few weeks: the first is Resolution 2334 in the Security Council, then John Kerry’s speech which was quite interesting and the conference that was held in Paris. I will refer to all three of these but I would like to bring it in to some kind of perspective because we cannot understand today without putting things in some kind of order to lead us to the discussion. I do not want to go to history but let me start by saying that in 1993 we were seen to be entering a new era in the relations between Israel and the Palestinians and the Arab world in general. This is because the Oslo Accords which were signed in 1993 were actually a result of a dramatic shift in world politics and so we have to understand this shift. It was an era without the Cold War and after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the First Gulf War. At the time when there was a Soviet Union and a Warsaw Pact and NATO and the United States facing each other with two very different ideologies and Europe itself being divided down the middle; the situation in the Middle East was greatly effected by this. Countries and regions in the Middle East were looked through the Prism of whether they were with the United States or the Soviets and the two powers were focused on enhancing their areas of influence in the Middle East. The Middle East, especially then, was a key area because of the geostrategic location and the wealth of oil which all of the world is dependent on and more so at the time. Then suddenly there is no Soviet Union and this is particularly significant for some of the Arab countries that were under the Soviet umbrella and saw their protection by big brother assured with political and military assistance and pacts of all kinds. One day they looked up and there is no Soviet Union and shortly after that, even though the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait wasn’t caused by the Soviet Union, the war that the international coalition fought against Saddam Hussein could not have been possible without the collapse of the Soviet Union. The First Iraqi War started only after the approval of the United Nations, but is the Soviet Union had still been around it would have vetoed it automatically. Then the Secretary of State at the time James Baker said that they were in a new world and needed to change the reality in this ongoing conflict between Israel and the Arabs. At the time I was a political advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and I witnessed it very closely when he came back and forth with others and some pressure applied on all sides to convene a peace conference in Madrid and negotiations in the State Department with representatives from the Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese and others. It was very clear that with Lebanon we have no problems but it is so much under the control of Syria that it does not have the independence to negotiate with Israel. So the delegations usually went to do some shopping and it was good shopping and the atmosphere was nice and they became friends. With the Syrians it was the opposite and it was clear from the start that things were not going anywhere and it was very unpleasant and hostile even on a very personal basis. With Jordan, whom we all know we had contacts with the Royal Family and other forms of cooperation, these talks did result in a draft of a peace agreement but the Jordanians told us that we cannot sign the deal unless there is some agreement with the Palestinians because we have to look at our own internal situation as the majority of people in Jordan are of Palestinian origin. So, they said that they cannot go ahead without a breakthrough with the Palestinians. With the Palestinians, we had good days and we had bad days but it did not really move forward. The negotiations started when the Likud government and Shamir were in power. In 1992 there were elections in Israel and a change of government after Rabin won the elections and Peres was Minster of Foreign Affairs so the talks continued. Parallel to the talks in Washington, something opened a backchannel began which did produce a breakthrough and the Oslo Accords were signed on the lawns of the Whitehouse. There were such high hopes that we were entering a new era but as we all know the Oslo Accords did not bring the results but the framework suggested that within five years of an interim agreement we will reach a permanent agreement. There were two gallant efforts; one being by Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Arafat in Camp David in the Year 2000 with President Clinton trying to make that breakthrough happen. Barak presented an offer that made most Israelis pretty shocked because everyone understands that Jerusalem is one of the most difficult parts to reach an agreement upon and Barak suggested to divide Jerusalem. This deal was rejected by Arafat who went back to Ramallah and the Second Intifada began. The second big move forward was carried out by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert who made a very similar offer but the Palestinians did not come back to him. They claimed it was because they understood that Olmert was in trouble and towards the end of his time but that is no reason. Whatever the reason, that effort did not bring a result either. Jumping forward, the second term of the Obama administration has a new Secretary of State replacing Hilary Clinton which is John Kerry. John Kerry, four years ago, was given smart political advice not to meddle with the Israeli-Palestinian issue because you don’t want your name to be attached to a failure. John Kerry out of some kind of inner conviction, decided to dedicate months and years to this specific issue from the outset. He first reached the agreement for a nine month shuttle diplomacy that he would be leading whilst the Israeli’s had a freeze on settlements. Although there were no direct negotiations, Kerry spent more time in Jerusalem and Ramallah than in Washington. At the end of those nine months there was nothing and then it became clear that the Palestinians made a strategic decision not to engage directly with Israel or in direct negotiations. Instead they chose to go to the international arena like the United Nations and get recognition wherever possible so if it is not possible through the Security Council then it can be done in the General Assembly. Also by applying international pressure to Israel to make them accept an agreement. Without the Palestinians committing what they have to commit on their side during the negotiations, because it is a mutual agreement where both sides make concessions, they get no obligations and that seems to be the strategy. To sum up the question that you brought up, whether things like Resolution 2334 brings us closer or further away from the negotiations, I am afraid that it brings us further away. This is because on the one hand the Palestinians say that they succeed because going to the international arena brings results and so they will continue with it and continue to shy away from direct negotiations. What it does to the Israeli public, like it or not, when they see something like that in the UN that puts all of the onus on Israel it does not have a good effect on Israeli public opinion which means it does not have a good effect on Israeli public policy. So I do not think that this resolution moves negotiations forward only further away. Secondly, I would like to refer to the John Kerry speech because in my view that was an amazingly interesting speech. Unfortunately it was rejected at the outset by both the Israelis and the Palestinians, I will tell you in a minute why the Palestinians. I will tell you first why it should have received a little better response from the Israeli side. He, at the end of his very long and emotional speech, basically outlined the six principles which are in his view necessary to reach an agreement. In his view: he recognised the historic connection of Jews to Israel and to Jerusalem, he talked about a two state solution and that is the stated policy of Prime Minister Netanyahu, he talked about recognising the demographic reality that has changed since 1967. He also said that peace should be reached within the context of a regional move involving the moderate Arab countries to create not only a change between us and the Palestinians but to create a change in the Middle East. It is true that he dedicated a lot of time in his speech to the issue of settlements which is something that frustrated him and, I think, the Obama administration. That probably angered many Israelis and friends of Israel. I was responsible for public diplomacy for a long time and I have to admit that it was not always easy. It is not easy, not because of specific developments on the ground. What made it difficult is that there is a gap between the stated policy of a two state solution and settlement activity which is viewed as something which makes it impossible to reach a two-state solution because of the demographic change. We live in Israel and we understand nuances, you have to understand nuances because it is not enough just to talk about settlements; you have to understand where those settlements are and how much territory they take and if there is a land swap what does it mean. It is a complicated issue. There is a feeling amongst many, and that is what Secretary Kerry suggested, that time is running out and that there is a time factor which has to be taken into consideration. I think that most Israelis and most others would agree that time is of the essence and I don’t understand the Palestinians and why they shy away from negotiations. If you are a Palestinian what is your main claim: the settlements change the reality on the ground and make it impossible to reach an agreement and so you have to freeze all settlement activity. Sounds good right, but if it does not happen then what is your long term interest and how do you reach the result of bringing settlement activity to an end. How do you reach that result? Through negotiations and an agreement. So why shy away from negotiations? On the contrary settlement activity should drive the Palestinians towards negotiations because time is of the essence. They have for years shied away from the negotiations and now something is emerging that they don’t agree with which is as a result of a lack of negotiations. It is a paradox but that is the reality. The Paris conference, I will be brief in discussing it. I hear in Paris that the food is good and the hospitality is nice maybe the weather was nicer than it is today; so there were a lot of Foreign Ministers who had good food, good wine and nice speeches but zero historic significance. Even if the Palestinians and us would have gone there, it would have had zero significance but particularly in the absence of the two sides it is an exercise in futility. I feel sorry for the French when it comes to the Middle East and I can sympathise because the area which was under their sphere of influence historically was Syria and Lebanon and look at the chaos and disarray and where it stands; if they still want to play a role in the Middle East this is not the way. If this is the description of where I think we stand and if we see that Barak and Arafat and Olmert didn’t produce and all this in an attempt to reach a final status agreement probably there is something that makes it impossible. We need to change the paradigm otherwise we are going to continue knocking our heads. If it is impossible for one reason or another to in one step reach the final status agreement to end the conflict; my idea is: we need to reach a temporary long-term agreement which will not cover all the issues but will cover ninety percent of them. Where the Palestinians will get almost everything they want and there will be a number of issues left. Our generation has failed and you have to acknowledge it, but maybe in the context of a new reality on the ground where ninety percent of the issues are behind us and it is working and the economies are progressing. In a different atmosphere, maybe that generation will be successful. I will sum this up by suggesting a change of paradigm because this kind of UN resolution, another conference in Paris, this kind of speech here or there from my own experience will not get the result that we want. Thank you.

Lord Turnberg: Thank you very much. Well that was an excellent review. You did not touch on the issue of Mr Trump.

Arthur Koll: I know that the questions will be fifty percent about him.

Lord Turnberg: Ok, apparently Kerry talked about recognition of Israel as a Jewish state which the Palestinians did not like at all. From what you say it sounds as if you’d like to see new leaders on both sides before we can move forward is that what you are saying?

Arthur Koll: Yes.

Lord Turnberg: There’s a question there, there’s a question there and there’s a question there; you first.

Question 1: My name is Edward Ben-Nathan. It seems to me, and you just stated, that at the very least it is possible if not probable that peace is not possible because of Palestinian rejections and yet no government or respectable media outlet has even admitted that possibility. How come?

Arthur Koll: First of all that is not true. It was part of my professional duty to follow media worldwide for many years. Those who are leaning towards the Palestinian position complain that the media is too pro-Israeli and those who lean towards the Israeli position tend to say that it is too pro-Palestinian. I think that it is definitely not pro-Israeli but it is diverse and we saw all things. Even Secretary of State Kerry after the nine months of failed attempts, he needs to be seen as an enormous broker but if you heard the nuances of what he said, he did say that those talks failed because of the Palestinians. Netanyahu agreed to go ahead following those nine months into direct negotiations under terms which he did not particularly like and the Palestinian side said no. President Clinton after the failed attempt at Camp David with Barak and Arafat; if you listen to what he said you didn’t have to have two musical ears to understand that he said Arafat was given almost all of what he wanted and he disappointed Clinton and not only that but went back to Ramallah and started the Second Intifada. So it is not true that it is not recognised. What is true, and I have my hands tied behind my back sometimes, is that the conflict is perceived as something not between equals but between a strong side and a weak side. If you are Israeli and you want to explain your dilemmas, your needs or your policies then it is quite complicated. You start talking about Hamas and PLO and incitements and knives and bombs and ISIS and you look at the region where although Israel looks like a giant and the Palestinians are small, we in Israel look at Israel and the whole sea around us. The Palestinians when they talk about their position, they only mention one word and it is enough: ‘occupation.’ They are weak, they are occupied and they are demanding their rights, when it comes to public diplomacy it makes our ability to explain our considerations much more difficult but that is life.

Question 2: You said that perhaps Netanyahu was in support of the two state solution but how much freedom does he have? He needs the votes of the religious right and he has a wafer thin majority in the Knesset so how (inaudible) is his ability to manoeuvre?

Arthur Koll: It is a good question. I think that he has to manoeuvre within a political reality. We have an impossible electoral system, really impossible; people say that Netanyahu won big time in the elections but he got 30 out of 120 only one quarter of the votes and that is winning big time. If that is the largest party you can imagine that he needs not one or two coalition partners but a large amount of parties with particular areas and views and he needs to be a magician in order to manoeuvre. He was attacked from day one by Bennett and his party for his commitment to a two state solution. However it did not stop Bennett joining him in his coalition and that is the reality. Now here comes the Trump factor because as long as we had the previous administration in the United States, even Bennett understood that it is diplomatic suicide to push towards an extension of anything in the West Bank when Obama is in power or the overall general international attitude on this matter. Trump winning the election (inaudible) a little bit Bennett and I think he is totally wrong but he is under the illusion that Trump winning gives him or Israel carte blanche to start increasing settlement activity and even annexing if not all then parts of the West Bank. In this case listen carefully to what Netanyahu said, he said no and objected to Bennett and said that it is irresponsible activity but they are still coalition partners. So, I would say that as long as this is the composition of the coalition in Israel; I do not see the possibility of a breakthrough regarding the Palestinians but I also do not think that Netanyahu is going to surrender to Bennett’s pressure to annexation of parts of the West Bank. Always a strong indication as to the possibility of moving forward from the Israeli side is looking at the composition of the coalition. Will there be a change of coalition and will you see for example Lapid or Herzog. With Bennett, it is no question it is making life very difficult for Netanyahu and Israel.

Question 3: I’d like to ask a question on the move of the American Embassy to Jerusalem. It seemed during the Trump campaign that this was, as the Americans say, a ‘slam dunk’, since then the Trump spokesman has been extremely critical to say the least about it. Clearly there have been lots of objections to the move by the Palestinians and others and significant violence has been threatened. He has also made a commitment to fight terrorism, particularly Islamic extremists. If this move does not take place, to what extent in your view will it inhibit or be counterproductive to the more general war on terrorism and is this move likely, very likely or certain to go ahead?

Arthur Koll: I will start by saying that I don’t think that the issue of moving the embassy to Jerusalem has anything to do with the fight against global terrorism. They are two totally separate issues and there is no link. We are accustomed, unfortunately, to pre-election promises by candidates to move the embassy to Jerusalem; once the candidates become President that for some reason is not carried out. If Trump does not move the embassy then he will not be the first President to promise to and not and we have had such Presidents both Republican and Democrat before, so we are a little but cynical when talking about these issues and talking about these promises. On the other hand, because Trump is unpredictable, he may do it. I listen very carefully to what now the new administration says about it. There is diplomatic jargon and common people talk and when you have a meeting between two leaders and a big country and a small country and the spokesman comes out and says “we had very fruitful talk” and what happened is one talked and one listened and wrote notes. So, I listened very carefully to the spokesperson of the Whitehouse and his last statement on the issue was “we are at the initial stages of starting the matter” but as I said he is unpredictable. Look, I just want to say one thing about it as an Israeli: I live in Jerusalem and I grew up in Jerusalem; Israel and the Jewish people have never had another capital other than Jerusalem. Israel once it became an independent state as any other country decided to assert its basic right of where its capital is to be and it is Jerusalem. Had there been a move a long time ago to West Jerusalem it might be different so there are ways of doing this. If you are against Israel all together and you don’t want to see Israel together then any move you are opposed to and you start a campaign against it but if you are reasonable then let’s have countries start to recognise West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and start moving the embassies there; what is the big deal. Even Trump can do it and he can decide to move the United States Embassy to West Jerusalem and suggesting in diplomatic terms that he does not recognise the annexation of East Jerusalem but he does recognise West Jerusalem as the capital. The problem is that things that you don’t do when you can do them become much more difficult later on and that is where we are today.

Question 4: You said to go forward that it is the fault of the politicians. Today the new one should agree on the ninety percent, do you know what they are and what are they?

Arthur Koll: I can quite easily tell you the ninety percent and maybe your ninety percent will be a little bit different. My ninety percent is an independent Palestinian state between ninety to ninety five percent of the West Bank territory because on the rest we cannot agree so that is the percentage. It would be demilitarised but other than that it would be recognised and so on, it is easier to say where we don’t agree. It is difficult to agree on Jerusalem or at least some parts of Jerusalem but some parts it is easy, the settlement blocs. Maybe, if we are being very generous, both sides and the international community can agree on land swaps as well and we leave the certain hot potatoes of Jerusalem in particular and the refugee issue which I think is less problematic then described to the next generation. Would that make sense?

Question 4: Yes, but I think that Netanyahu could do it now so why do you wait for new politicians?

Arthur Koll: I will tell you why and I have a simple example in my arsenal to show why you need two to tango and when you do unilateral moves, it is problematic. Ariel Sharon was Prime Minister during the Second Intifada, he came to the conclusion that he wanted to withdraw from Gaza but there was an Intifada so he decided on something that looked quite crazy to many and unilaterally withdrew from every inch of Gaza and uprooted every settler and every military outpost out of Gaza. He also did this to five settlements in the West Bank to say that this is not a trick and to send a message to the Palestinians and unilaterally gave it to the Palestinian authority. The Hamas kicked the Palestinian authority out and so we now have a terrorist enclave there, so that is why Netanyahu can’t do the ninety percent.

Question 5: I’m really looking for assurance and I hope that you can prove me totally wrong. I was sitting in a room with Shimon Peres after Oslo and we asked him how he thinks it is going to work and he said “look, economically it will be beneficial to the Palestinians and even those who are against it will be for it.” Unfortunately all those who do not want peace knew that so they started blowing things up and the Intifada and the war and it did not work. So help me out that there is something wrong with this logic. The other problem that I have is that all throughout the history of Zionism the Palestinians said that they do not want Israel because until 1967 did you hear anyone talk about an independent Palestinian state? No because they wanted to conquer Israel. So I can’t help seeing that all the talk about an independent Palestinian state is simply a (inaudible) and when they were offered, and you listed all the offers, deals then they rejected. So you know what I am saying, I’m pessimistic so help me; do you see a better future?

Arthur Koll: I do understand where you are coming from but I cannot allow myself to be a pessimist. I have children in Israel who grew up from day one into a conflict and I grew up into a conflict which is still going on and I want myself to see a better future. Number two, when I as an Israeli come and say that want to see a two state solution what does that mean because it is not a statement. It means that Israel legally gives up the places, look at the Bible the areas that are connected to our history on every page, and I come and say two state solution that in order to cure the body, I give up my hand. That is what I am saying because I want to see hope and because the reality is that we are not there alone. I am vehemently against a one state solution where we lose our Jewish character and solid Jewish majority, if that is the case then there is no alternative but a painful compromise. I think that the Palestinians, most of them but not all of them, are not at the place that Arafat was in 1964 and they also have developed and they at least officially, the PLO not Hamas, recognise today the State of Israel and its right to exist. They threaten that if the Americans move The American Embassy to Jerusalem then they will reverse their recognition of the State of Israel. So, we have no choice and the Palestinians have no choice; we have to move forward and I think that the Palestinians have not made the necessary emotional or psychological steps. Having Hamas not only control Gaza but to be extremely strong in the West Bank and gaining in popularity there and what is spread and taught in schools, it is extremely problematic so we have to work on changing that and not giving up because we cannot give up.

Lord Turnberg: Ok, two last questions. Can we be fairly brief?

Question 6: I like the words: “we have to move forward.” I ask my question in the context that we are almost a hundred years after the Balfour Declaration in November this year and I move forward to when Winston Churchill was trying to push it forward he sat down with Weizmann. What the two of them agreed is that they must treat all of the people in Israel equally whether they are Jewish, Christian or Muslim. If Israel is going to do that through education and voting etc. then isn’t that going to put people’s minds on the reality of the situation?

Arthur Koll: You talk about the West Bank or you talk about Israel?

Question 6: I’m talking about Israel.

Arthur Koll: Well in Israel we do it.

Question 6: Well not necessarily in the same schools.

Arthur Koll: No, first of all we are not a perfect society and I don’t know any society that is perfect; I didn’t want to mention this one because I am a guest. When I served as a young Consul in Atlanta, Georgia and I heard certain people taking about the imperfect democracy that we had bringing up certain issues and I would say “I agree with you, we are not perfect.” They always said “we have the Constitution, two hundred years of it” but under the Constitution when did women start to vote and when did black people in Atlanta, Georgia have equal rights not long before I was there as Consul. So, we are not perfect but the education system and equal rights and so on we have in Israel. If you claim that it is not the situation in the West Bank then you are correct because it is not Israel, it is according to international law an occupied territory; they don’t vote for the Israeli Parliament and I don’t suggest giving them that right and that is why I want to separate them. I just want to raise something that you mentioned; until 1967 the West Bank was owned by Jordan and Jews not only from Israel but from anywhere could not go to the holy sites in East Jerusalem like the Wailing Wall. Only after 1967 were all religions able to freely go and follow their religious beliefs in the holy city of Jerusalem no matter who you are and what you are. We are not a perfect society and to prove that we have the President in prison and we have a Prime Minister in prison. I am bringing this up only to say that the head of the court that sent President Katsav to jail was a Muslim an Israeli-Muslim. An Israeli-Muslim sent the President of Israel to jail, nobody asked him a question or accused him of doing it because he is a Muslim.

Lord Turnberg: Last question I think.

Question 7: I will try and be brief. I have not been to Israel for a long time but I revisited Israel through my relatives who came this week. They fled South Africa with nothing and came to Israel penniless and looked after by the state. My actual relative is an English teacher and has three jobs and his wife is a holocaust (inaudible) and the whole weekend was polarised by their arguments over Israel. He has got one view and she has got another and as you said in your speech, I picked up two things: the Palestinians are fed up and of course they are going to be fed up because they live, a lot of them in very difficult circumstances. The Israeli’s are also fed up because a lot of them are living in very difficult circumstances but a lot of us (inaudible) in paradox to this kind of situation: Kashmir comes to mind, Western Sahara comes to mind. I’m listening to Trump and I’m listening to others but it is very difficult at the moment separating Zionism from our religion and I am suddenly finding that whereas I have never found that before. I have heard you talk now but I haven’t heard any answers or any solutions. If you said I want everyone in this room and every parliamentarian to do this then what would we do?

Arthur Koll: From an individual point of view there are many things. I would say that on the political level, I think that what needs to be done is to make sure that this relatively new strategy of the Palestinians to turn to the international arena hoping that the world will impose a solution, that strategy must fail. It must fail in order to ensure that the two sides, especially the Palestinians, understand that the only solution is to sit in a closed room with the Israelis and bang heads until an agreement comes out. This is because the idea of an imposed solution by the outside world is doomed to failure and failure based on our history has dire consequences and costs lives. If you want to save lives in future generations then you have to make sure that the strategy of avoiding negotiations fails. You can do it as a politician and you can do it as an individual who is active on these matters.

Lord Turnberg: Ok, well I’m afraid that I have had the sign that we have to vacate the room at two and we are two minutes overdue. I am sure you will agree that we have had a marvellous exposition from a master.

HJS



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