Sunday, April 13, 2003

Sharon interview
Ari Shavit interviewed Israeli PM Arik Sharon in today's Haaretz. Interesting. Some excerpts:


Isn't that phrase "painful concessions" a hollow expression?

"Definitely not. It comes from the depth of my soul. Look, we are talking about the cradle of the Jewish people. Our whole history is bound up with these places. Bethlehem, Shiloh, Beit El. And I know that we will have to part with some of these places. There will be a parting from places that are connected to the whole course of our history. As a Jew, this agonizes me. But I have decided to make every effort to reach a settlement. I feel that the rational necessity to reach a settlement is overcoming my feelings."

[...]

Have you really accepted the idea of two states for two peoples? Do you really plan to divide western Israel?

"I believe that this is what will happen. One has to view things realistically. Eventually there will be a Palestinian state. I view things first and foremost from our perspective. I do not think that we have to rule over another people and run their lives. I do not think that we have the strength for that. It is a very heavy burden on the public and it raises ethical problems and heavy economic problems."

[...]

In the past you talked about a long-term interim agreement. Did you not believe in a permanent solution and an end to the conflict?

"I think opportunities have currently been created that did not exist before. The Arab world in general and the Palestinians in particular have been shaken. There is therefore a chance to reach an agreement faster than people think."

Read the whole thing.

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