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Whatever you may think of this guy, he is a real Middle-East expert, and a Republican to boot.
The Right Republican for Governor
10 E. Ontario Street, Suite 1210
Chicago, IL 60611-2753
Tel. (312) 440-4124
Fax (312) 440-4125
Web site: AndyforIllinois.com
January 29, 2006
President George Bush
The White House
Washington, DC 20500
Via fax (202) 456-2461
Re: Palestinians and the Middle East Peace Process
Dear President Bush:
I am writing to you on the day before an important meeting to decide what funding will continue for the Palestine Authority.
Once again, I believe you are receiving biased and misleading advice. As Americaâ€™s most respected independent foreign policy and intelligence analyst, I would like to proffer advice and suggestions which may be contrary to what you are hearing from the Washington political establishment.
As you know from our earlier contacts, during the disastrous administration of Paul Bremer in Iraq, my experience in the Middle East is quite different than those of the Pennsylvania Avenue cowboys who have never traveled in that region without an official passport. I travel and live without any official role.
You are being pressured to suspend aid to the Palestinian Authority because of last weekâ€™s election. Donâ€™t do it. You have an unbelievably positive opportunity to break the logjam in that conflict by keeping the aid flowing and even increasing it.
I am a strong supporter of the war on terror. I was in New York City on business on 9/11 and I would personally take extreme action against the perpetrators of that crime. But Hamas has never been part of the war on terror.
Hamas considers itself part of an occupied people, at war with the Israelis, and they consider themselves as entitled to take violent action to end the occupation as Israel does to maintain the occupation. Hamas has never threatened the United States. Hamas was originally used by the Israeli government to undermine the secular nationalism of the PLO/Fatah.
If you treat the Palestinian elections as a defeat, and exacerbate conditions for the people, as well as increasing the pressure on Hamas, you will only drive this organization into the hands of Americaâ€™s real enemies.
During the past year Hamas has observed peace with Israel. They have been at least as restrained as the Israelis in refraining from retaliatory attacks. The reality is that neither side in the Israel/Palestine conflict is covered with glory. Both sides are constantly seeking to defeat the other. Both sides are seeking to demonize the other. There is no surprise there.
I think you should announce that Hamasâ€™ status will be reviewed on the basis of acts, and not words. We negotiate with the PLO when that organization had incendiary language in its articles of organization.
I know you considered Ariel Sharon a close friend in the region, but he was a disaster for American policy and Americaâ€™s interests. Sharon deluded him into believing he could impose his grandiose schemes for annexation and permanent occupation at the barrel of a gun, and that Israeli military power would prevail over Palestinian rights. He was wrong. You wasted years listening to him. Indeed, if anyone can be called the godfather of Hamasâ€™ victory, it is Sharon himself.
Here is what I propose you do:
1. Announce that actions, not words, will control U. S. policy. If Hamas maintains the peace, U. S. aid will flow and may even increase.
2. Recognize that the greatest gift you could confer on the Israeli people is to bring a resolution to the conflict with a settlement that no one likes, neither side. Israelis need to accept that they will not be able to occupy and dominate the Palestinians, any more than Palestinians can do the same to Israel. Take a firm position with both sides. It is only when our deeds are seen as impartial that we will gain the credibility to help resolve this festering controversy. You do Israel and the Israeli people no help when you tip American policy in favor of them; you achieve the opposite result. You prolong the confrontation.
3. Restrain the extreme right here at home; it is almost as focused on confrontation as extremists in the Middle East. You have said so often that â€śIslam is not the enemy,â€ť and it is not. Youâ€™re right. But some of the people around you have not caught on. There are many mosques in the Washington area. Visit one occasionally. Be the â€śgood guyâ€ť that I know you are.
4. Put American policy in the hands of those who do not have any emotional attachment to either side. For example, people who have been associated with pro-Israel positions or with pro-Arab positions arising out of oil contacts, lack credibility. I am a lawyer, though I do not practice law. Two good lawyers, one on either side, could settle this mess. Lawyers are trained to keep emotion out of conflicts, and to restrain their clients, not inflame them. Unfortunately, many of the people you have sent to the Middle East lacked the impartiality to give you the best advice.
I am a Republican candidate for Governor, and I have conducted a campaign which welcomes all peoples to my campaign. Christians, Jews, Muslims. And every other faith or no faith. The genius of our great nation was that its founders created a secular society where all are free to pray and worship as they wish. And prosper. I support those founding principles. They are worthy of being extended wherever people of good will voluntarily and peacefully embrace them.
Christians, Jews and Muslims live in peace and prosperity in Illinois because all are protected and all are free. How we live our daily lives says more about America than all of the convoluted programs and policies we have sought to impose on the outside world.
If I can render any help to you, in any capacity, in dealing with these critical problems, please pick up the phone and call. I have lived my life as a servant of the U. S. Constitution and in your capacity as the chief constitutional officer I will do whatever I can to assist you.
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