Text of Bush Middle East Speech

All states must keep their promise, made in a vote in the United Nations, to actively oppose terror in all its forms. No nation can pick and choose its terrorist friends.

I call on the Palestinian Authority and all governments in the region to do everything in their power to stop terrorist activities, to disrupt terrorist financing, and to stop inciting violence by glorifying terror in state-owned media or telling suicide bombers they are martyrs.

They're not martyrs. They're murderers. And they undermine the cause of the Palestinian people.

Those governments, like Iraq, that reward parents for the sacrifice of their children are guilty of soliciting murder of the worst kind.

All who care about the Palestinian people should join in condemning and acting against groups like Al-Aqsa, Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and all groups which oppose the peace process and seek the destruction of Israel.

The recent Arab League support of Crown Prince Abdullah's initiative for peace is promising, is hopeful because it acknowledges Israel's right to exist. And it raises the hope of sustained, constructive Arab involvement in the search for peace.

This builds on a tradition of visionary leadership begun by President Sadat and King Hussein and carried forward by President Mubarak and King Abdullah. Now other Arab states must rise to this occasion and accept Israel as a nation and as a neighbor.

Peace with Israel is the only avenue to prosperity and success for a new Palestinian state. The Palestinian people deserve peace and an opportunity to better their lives.

They need their closest neighbor, Israel, to be an economic partner, not a mortal enemy. They deserve a government that respects human rights and a government that focuses on their needs, education and health care, rather than feeding their resentments.

It is not enough for Arab nations to defend the Palestinian cause. They must truly help the Palestinian people by seeking peace and fighting terror and promoting development.

Israel faces hard choices of its own. Its government has supported the creation of a Palestinian state that is not a haven for terrorism. Yet, Israel also must recognize that such a state needs to be politically and economically viable.

Consistent with the Mitchell plan, Israeli settlement activity in occupied territories must stop, and the occupation must end through withdrawal to secure and recognize boundaries consistent with United Nations Resolutions 242 and 338. Ultimately, this approach should be the basis of agreements between Israel and Syria and Israel and Lebanon.

Israel should also show a respect — a respect for and concern about the dignity of the Palestinian people who are and will be their neighbors. It is crucial to distinguish between the terrorists and ordinary Palestinians seeking to provide for their own families. The Israeli government should be compassionate at checkpoints and border crossings, sparing innocent Palestinians daily humiliation.

Israel should take immediate action to ease closures and allow peaceful people to go back to work.

Israel is facing a terrible and serious challenge. For seven days, it has acted to rout out terrorists' nests. America recognizes Israel's right to defend itself from terror.

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