Transcript: White House Senior Advisor David Plouffe

ASHRAWI: Now negotiations are not an objective. They are a means. And these have been a very flawed instrument. Either you fix the tool, the instrument, or you find alternatives. So if you negotiate and you buy Israel time to create unilateral facts, to build more settlements, to steal more land, it is in danger of destroying the whole -- not just peace process, but the prospects of peace.

AMANPOUR: The United States and its allies, the quartet, U.N., et cetera, have called for talks to start and to be concluded by the end of 2012.

ASHRAWI: Absolutely.

AMANPOUR: Is that remotely possible?

ASHRAWI: Look, what's possible is -- and we've said this very clearly -- if Israel commits to the terms of reference '67 boundaries, the two-state solution, Jerusalem as the capital, and with a timeframe, binding timeframe, as well as cessation of all settlement activities -- Israel talks about the two-state solution, talks about talks, but is busy stealing the land. It has stolen over 40 percent of the West Bank, and it has annexed Jerusalem, and it has changed the terms of reference and the agenda.


ASHRAWI: So if they commit, we will negotiate. If they don't commit, then we have to look for alternatives, because this is the end of the two-state solution. Look, Christiane, we've known each other for years. I'm not prone to hyperbole or lies or anything, but -- and no-panic politics (ph), but when President Abbas said this is the moment of truth, this is it, because soon there will be no two-state solution.

AMANPOUR: So people are concerned that he may have raised his people's expectations, that this is just going to deepen intransigence from the United States, from those opposed to these unilateral moves, and could lead to violence...


AMANPOUR: Do you think that's possible?

ASHRAWI: Look, the only unilateral moves are Israeli moves on the ground (inaudible) the apartheid wall, the...

AMANPOUR: But what do you think is going to be the reaction of the Palestinians?

ASHRAWI: Settlements -- no, the Palestinian people are very political, very astute, and they know -- they know that this a new phase. This is not the end of the road. This is the beginning of a new phase, that for 20 years, we've seen more lives lost, more land lost, more freedoms lost, and Israel has maintained the enslavement of the whole Palestinian people. They want to see a change in the modus operandi. They want the Palestinian not just identity, but rights to be vindicated and to be based on international law and international humanitarian law.

AMANPOUR: Prime...

ASHRAWI: If it doesn't happen, then the power politics of a brutal military occupation will prevail.

AMANPOUR: Prime Minister Netanyahu, as you saw, said let's talk now. One of the things he spoke very loudly about at the U.N. was recognize Israel as a Jewish state. If you want a Palestinian state, fine, recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

ASHRAWI: Look -- look, we recognized Israel in...

AMANPOUR: Will the Palestinians do that? Because the quartet's even...


ASHRAWI: We recognized Israel in '93. If Israel wants to change its name, it has to go to the Security Council or whatever and ask everybody that's recognized it to recognize it again as a Jewish state. We want a Palestinian state that is pluralistic, inclusive, and tolerant. I don't want an Islamic state or a Christian state. Why should I want a Jewish state?

Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...