Secretary of State George Shultz:
A Statement for Palestinians
East Jerusalem, 26 February 1988
I have a statement for Palestinians. Palestinian participation is essential to success in the peace process. I had hoped to carry this message to East Jerusalem this evening and to hear firsthand from leading Palestinians about your aspirations and your point of view. Peacemaking is difficult. Peace has its enemies. Even small steps toward peace can be significant in moving beyond mistrust and hatred. In a small way, I wanted to do that this evening.
All the peoples of this land need to be able to look to a future of dignity, security, and prosperity. New respect for rights and new readiness for political change must replace old recrimination and distrust.
The United States is for positive and rapid change. Fundamental considerations guide our approach.
First, Palestinians and Israelis must deal differently with one another. Palestinians must achieve control over political and economic decisions that affect their lives. Palestinians must be active participants in negotiations to determine their future. Legitimate Palestinian rights can be achieved in a manner which protects Israeli security. Israeli security and Palestinian security are necessary conditions for a better future for Palestinians, as well as for Israelis.
Second, these moves must be part of a broader effort to reach a comprehensive settlement. Israel and the occupied territories do not exist in isolation. Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Palestinians living outside the territories have concerns which need to be resolved. In moving toward a comprehensive settlement, resolutions 242 and 338, in their entirety, must be the basis for negotiations.
Third, what we are seeking must be achieved through negotiations. Negotiations work. Negotiations produce agreements which meet the fundamental concerns of all parties. Experience shows you that you can have an agreement with Israel, and it will be kept by Israel.
Fourth, the start of negotiations must be soon, and the pace of negotiations must be rapid, so that results can be achieved with equal rapidity.
The human resources and potential of Arabs and Israelis are boundless. They have energy and drive which, if not directed against each other, can be marshaled collectively to explore science and technology, literature, and the arts. This region, which nurtured three great world religions, carries within it a powerful and moral force. Islam, Christianity, and Judaism can work together in creating a more durable, moral, and spiritual world for all of us.
Our vision is of Israelis and Palestinians living together in peace in this land; where the rights of each are respected; where the energies of all are directed at peaceful purposes; where security and trust exist. Israelis and Palestinians need to see in each other the embodiment of their own dreams. They will realize that the fulfillment of their own dreams is impossible without the fulfillment of the other side's dreams. They will see that dreams rooted in reality are dreams which can be fulfilled.
Opportunity knocks loudly on your doors. Now is the time to get to work. We have a workable plan, and we are ready to commit our efforts to it. The time is right, together, to make decisions of historic importance. Let us translate our dreams into the reality of peace, rights, and security for all.
Source: Journal of Palestine Studies, vol xvii, no 4, Summer 1988.