News Release

Interviews Available on Bush’s Mideast Plan

STEPHEN ZUNES
Associate professor of politics and chair of the Peace and Justice Studies Program at the University of San Francisco, Zunes is the Middle East editor at the Foreign Policy in Focus Project. He said today: “It is remarkable how President Bush insists on democratic governance and an end to violence and corruption as a prerequisite for Palestinian self-determination when his administration, as well as many administrations before him, have strongly supported a series of violent, corrupt and autocratic regimes throughout the Middle East and beyond. It should be apparent that Bush’s criticisms of Arafat’s regime, however valid, are not the reason for denying the Palestinians their right to self-determination. They are the excuse.”
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RABBI ARTHUR WASKOW
Director of the Shalom Center, Rabbi Waskow was one of the initiators of an inter-religious call for U.S. action for peace in the Middle East that appeared in the New York Times on May 31. He said today: “Both Israel and the Palestinians need a clear vision of the American goal, not a fuzzy one, and a clear timetable. So do Americans, for this war besmirches all religious hope, and endangers all peoples.”
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FRANCIS BOYLE
Boyle is professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law. He was legal advisor to the Palestinian delegation to the Middle East peace negotiations from 1991 to 1993 and author of the forthcoming book Palestine, Palestinians and International Law. He said today: “At least President Arafat was democratically elected by the vast majority of his people, unlike President Bush. The time frames seem deliberately designed by the Bush administration to punt on all critical issues beyond the 2004 presidential elections…. As Israel repudiates Oslo and resumes its outright occupation of the West Bank, there is nothing for the Palestinians but vague promises of good intentions by the United States government that have never materialized during the past 35 years. Basically, Bush gave Sharon the proverbial green light to dump Arafat. Violence will continue and escalate.”

NASEER ARURI
Naseer Aruri is professor emeritus of political science at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. He is author of the book The Obstruction Of Peace: The U.S., Israel and the Palestinians. He said today: “Bush’s long-awaited speech will give Sharon most of what he needs to put into effect his colonial plan for the remaining part of Palestine — absolute Israeli control, cantonization and economic strangulation among other methods of subtle persuasion to leave the country. The speech certainly endorses Sharon’s position that Arafat must be overthrown, and that is now being made a condition for establishing a ‘provisional Palestinian state,’ a rather innocuous phrase that has no real meaning in either politics or international law. The speech was a major disappointment to all those around the world who were looking forward to seeing an end to the Israeli siege of West Bank cities, most of which are now under occupation.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020