Remarks to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
October 6, 1995
Good morning. My feeling from the first days of being back in New York after an excessive time is that there is in a way a combination of a lack of information about the agreement, with a saturation of information of things that are related to the agreement. I find myself, to be very candid, for the first time meeting you not quite being able to assess what I can do in order to try and clarify the situation somewhat. What I intend to do, and you can redirect my effort, is maybe rather than go through the main elements of the agreement, some are known and some are less known, to go through the schedule of implementation, some of the methods of implementation and through that, to go into the implementation process and through this, explain a little bit into what is here in this 300-page document.
The Knesset passed a vote yesterday by 61 to 59 and now we are in the beginning of the implementation. The first stages have to do with preparation for implementation, and gradually with implementation itself. The whole first phase is between now and the Palestinian elections and the inauguration of the Council. Everything in this agreement, virtually everything, is based on graduality, the reason being that this agreement was born not only out of the Oslo DOP, but also out of an analysis that we did for three months together with the Palestinians together in secret negotiations from January to March as to how to improve the interim agreement in relation to what we had learned from the mutual mistakes committed in the Gaza-Jericho Agreement. One of them was that in Gaza/Jericho in many areas we either separated and what was passed to the Palestinians was to hand over the keys and you’ll do what you’ll do. And in the graduality process, you can stop almost at each station and see together what are the qualities of implementation and what are the effects of this agreement.
So the first lesson was graduality. The second is to do things together as much as possible, both in the preparation stage and some also in the implementation stage itself. I think next week you will see the first detainees and prisoners released. There will be a first redeployment of 14 installations of the civil administration out of cities towns and villages, and in this period, the two sides will decide the precise timetable for the redeployment. It probably will start more or less in a month with the city of Jenin, and gradually continue, I guess, in Tulkarem and Nablus. Ramallah and Bethlehem depend on bypass roads with an efforts to finish the redeployment by the end of December, and Heron with its special arrangements by the end of March.
In each of these cities, actually districts which are the cities and its villages, we will establish parallel to the redeployment something called a DCO, a District Coordinating Office that will work 24 hours a day and will be manned by a Palestinian police officer and an IDF officer with their staffs, to constantly overview the security situation in that district. In each of the districts, you will have a local civilian office, both Palestinian and Israeli, to deal with cooperation and coordination in terms of civilian authorities and the necessary day-to-day cooperation on civilian matters regarding permits, regarding the whole complexity of the various A, B and C areas to which I will come.
Above these structures, you will have a civilian West Bank structure and a security West Bank structure, and the same for Gaza. And above these two structures, you’ll have a higher structure both for security and civilian affairs. You will also will have in parallel for the West Bank and Gaza together a joint economic group that exists already for the implementation of our economic agreement from Paris, a new joint legal group that will deal with all the complexities of legal matters, legal assistance, extradition, etc. and a council for cooperation that will deal with cooperative efforts between the two societies in about 20 fields of life from education to youth exchange, culture, energy, environment and so on.
Ten days before redeployment from a city, Palestinian police officers who will take over the city and IDF officers who previously were in charge of the city will start the process of handing over the area. What will be created gradually is the A area, city by city seven cities together; with Jericho, it will be eight. We will have eight cities and Hebron minus the Old City of Hebron, the Jewish Quarter and everything that is linked from there to Kiryat Arba and Maarat ha-Machpelah together will form the A area which will be approximately 2.7% of West Bank territory. There you will have by the end of March 1996, and gradually in each city beforehand, full Palestinian security, public order and civilian responsibility.
The rest of the populated area, in cities sometimes as large as 20,000 or 30,000 towns, villages and something that is smaller than a village that is defined as hamlet for some reason in the agreement all of these places will be in the B area. Let me tell you how we came to the definition of populated area as it exists in the Oslo agreements and as it existed in the Camp David agreement: a populated area, by definition, is an area populated by Palestinians, and the settlements are completely outside of any type of Palestinian jurisdiction.
It was clear to us that we had to hand over into the B area not just the municipal boundaries of each of these cities, towns and villages, but obviously also the cultivated land where possible and state land where we had no interest of our own. This created an area of about 25%. This area will be created fairly quickly but really implemented with the elections. In the election process itself we’ll have a special security regime that was developed for the elections where all public order in all of the West Bank and Gaza will be under the authority of the Palestinian police, security outside of the cities, even in the election period under our responsibility with some special arrangements in order for the IDF to be as invisible, as little visible as possible, to allow for free and democratic elections.
Most of the discussion in the negotiations was around the B area. The B area has 465 Palestinian cities, towns, villages and comprises 65% of the Palestinian population. Here is where our demands were toughest from a Palestinian point of view. According to their reading of the DOP, and it had some validity from a legal point of view, there was no B area. This was an Israeli invention. The way we came to the B area is, it says in the DOP that we will redeploy and then there will be further redeployment. In other words, there’s graduality, and security authorities will be transferred to the Palestinian police in a phased manner. We created a gap between the redeployment process and the phased transfer of security of security responsibilities. This is how we created the B area.
Here we came up with a new notion that was critical for us accepting the agreement. In the C area, you have all the Israeli settlements, and of course the non-populated areas, and potential military locations in the B areas and the C areas, which are interwoven in such a way that when Arafat first saw the map he jumped up and left the room, because it was a very difficult map for him to swallow. The way that we defined the various security areas was very much a function also of our definition of what is essential for Israeli security not only in the immediate run for the settlements, but add to that the necessary assets, I would say even the necessary potential assets, for future permanent status negotiations. So actually C is the West Bank minus A and B. And you have C all over the place. Plus, our desire to control all the main roads outside of the main area on which there is movement of Israelis.
Now I know that when you negotiate with yourself, and there’s nothing closer to perfection, it’s very easy to say, "Why shouldn’t the road be on the Israeli responsibility?" The Palestinians have the claim that these are roads within the autonomy, and within the 27 percent. They say, "Give us at least these roads. There are 1.8 million Palestinians. At the very least let’s have joint responsibility over these roads." And we said no, because settlers pass on these roads, either on their way to work, on their way to Israel, on their way to school. All the main roads will be under Israeli responsibility.
The Palestinians wanted even to suffice with joint patrol of these roads, which initially we said no to. Then came the question of, "How do we guarantee it in the agreement?" And the way it was guaranteed was by the notion of Israeli overriding security responsibility. The Palestinians in the B area have responsibility of a public order. In other words, there is a demonstration of HAMAS against the Fatah, or a Palestinian kills a Palestinian, or whatever you have in a Palestinian school, or tax collection for instance this comes under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian police. And the responsibility of the Palestinian police.
This created a situation that you going to have two armed authorities on the same land. The Palestinians wanted a joint security system. I must say that some of our people were in favor, but ultimately, the decision that was taken by the Chief of Staff and later by the Prime Minister, is that there could be some joint security activities, but that the overriding responsibility would be ours. Which means that Palestinian police movement and activity as defined in the agreement from one village to another and they have police stations in 25 villages must be done through coordination and confirmation of the DCO, in which one of the members is Israeli.
Again, you must understand that this was perceived as humiliating by the Palestinian side, because they said, "This is autonomy land; most of our people are there. So for the fact that settlers can move freely with arms to bring their kids to school, and we are ready to provide even security our police has to be restricted and authorized by you to move from one place to another, and you will decide" which we will "what is security, and what is public order." That’s the meaning of overriding. Nobody in the Palestinian delegation was ready to take the decision. It had to come to Arafat. And here, despite some of his weaknesses, here is his forte. He took the decision, agreed to Israeli overriding responsibility.
We, again, will test the situation in the B area, which of course is the area of potential friction. Three months after the redeployment of the B area, the DCO’s can decide about Palestinian police movement on roads that are not used by Israelis, simply by informing the Israeli side, and may consider joint Palestinian-Israeli control on roads that, from a security point of view, such joint patrols are of value.
So you will have, after a gradual redeployment of six months, a creation of an A area, where everything is under Palestinian security responsibility; a B area where we have the overriding responsibility; and a C area where we have all the security/ public order/ civilian responsibilities, where there are about 50,000 Palestinians, maybe a little less. They have personal and functional spheres: education, et cetera. Not territorial ones.
I go on with the schedule. Elections can take place either 22 days after the last redeployment, before Hebron, which probably would bring it to January 20th, and then we would need special arrangements for February without redeployment, or 22 days after the redeployment of Hebron, which depends on the establishment of a bypass road, which would bring it to around April 20th.
The elections will be for all of the West Bank and Gaza, with the participation of Palestinians, including Palestinian inhabitants of Jerusalem. The Palestinians of Jerusalem will vote mostly, about 90 percent, in villages outside of the city of Jerusalem, outside of the municipal borders Abu Dis, el-Azariah, and so on. About 10 percent, mainly the elderly, will vote in five post offices, which was an Egyptian compromise proposal by which we created a structure going to the post office, not having the whole establishment of the Palestinian election structure present, but simply postal clerks, and one observer, of the European Union. People will come with an envelope, closed already, that they received at home, in a sense an absentee ballot.
The elections will be under a very complicated system. They worked in preparing for the elections with European Union, and developed a system, if possible, that is more complicated than ours. Ultimately it will provide for one Council, made up of 82 members, a Speaker who will be elected by the Council, and for various committees, one of the committees being the Executive Authority. The head of the Executive Authority will be also elected on a personal basis.
In terms of legislation, we changed the Gaza-Jericho arrangement. Under the Gaza-Jericho Agreement, every piece of legislation had to be sent to us for approval after 90 days. This is of the type of demands that you put that can never be implemented. Sometimes they sent the legislation, sometimes they didn’t. This time around we found, I think, something more realistic: that whenever a legislation does not comply with the agreement, Arafat or whoever is the head of the executive authority will have to abolish the legislation. Which gives them a greater freedom to legislate, and us greater leverage if there is something in the legislation that is in contrast to the agreement.
Then there was a whole question of criminal jurisdiction, which was one of the most difficult points of the legal matters. In Gaza-Jericho it was fairly simple, because this came either under Palestinian control where the Palestinians live, or under Israeli control in the settlements. Palestinians have no jurisdiction over Israelis. The exceptions are in civilian matters, when an Israeli after the agreement opens a company in the West Bank or Gaza, he his company acts under the provisions of Palestinian law. The problem is that they can not indict the Israelis, because according to the DOP, they don’t have this right.
On other civilian matters, we guaranteed in the agreement all rights of Israelis outside of settlements who have property in the West Bank and Gaza. This was one of the most bitter arguments, especially related to land. And whenever there is a Palestinian claim on land that belongs to Israelis individually, it goes to a joint committee to decide. And there is nothing more effective than joint committees, and there is also nothing less effective than joint committees. It depends on what we want, or the other side wants to do.
The problem with criminal jurisdiction was in the B area, because we insisted on the ability to prosecute and arrest Palestinians in the B area for security offenses. Here, again, the Palestinians said, "Look. You do it today all over the West Bank. We can never sign an agreement that agrees to the fact that Israelis will investigate, prosecute, and arrest Palestinians." It was ultimately Arafat who took the decision, which, believe me, is not an easy decision on the Palestinian side in an autonomy situation, that such matters can be taken and that we have criminal jurisdiction over security offenses over 65 percent of the Palestinian population. Which doesn’t mean that they will not arrest Palestinians for security offenses, but then have to take them to the A area to be convicted.
If anybody feels that this is complicated, I can assure you that the agreement is more complicated, and I can further assure you that the situation that was created on the ground in the last few years is even more complicated than that.
The next step, two months after the inauguration of the Council, will be the abolition of the various chapters in the Palestinian Covenant that were changed by the PLO Executive Committee in September ’93 and have to be rectified by the PNC, that will call the meeting in the West Bank and Gaza.
May ’96 is the next date, which is the beginning of permanent status talks. And six months after the inauguration of the Palestinian Council is the first out of the three further redeployments. Here was the main argument over the situation. The DOP speaks about the first redeployment for populated areas, and then further redeployments, until there is the full Palestinian jurisdiction over the West Bank and Gaza, except for settlements, Israelis, and military locations. Because it spoke in plural, we insisted on a phased schedule. What the Palestinians insisted is, "What will happen after the 28 percent?" Their proposal was, that each three months out of the C area that is not military location and not settlements, we would hand over 20 percent of the remaining C which would force us, in advance, to define what are the military locations to be defined by the end of the six months-six months-six months process, bringing us somewhere to the autumn of ’97. That was the main argument in the negotiations.
This, by the way, is the main gap between Camp David and Oslo. Oslo has an enormous security advantage over Camp David, because in Camp David, immediately after the inauguration of the Council, Israel is to redeploy to specified military locations. Here we had the advantage of another 18 months without defining in advance the size of what is a military location. The Palestinians said, "We are not going to sign this, because you can say tomorrow that the accumulated area of settlements" and they wanted the settlements on the map, and we refused; they wanted the military locations on the map, and we refused "today it’s 73 percent, and after the three stages, you may remain with 50, 60 percent." Again, here, the delegation said that if they have no assurances on this, they will not sign an agreement.
Here Arafat came in and took what was a fairly painful decision on their part, and it came close to rebellion by his delegation, which I wouldn’t under-estimate and say, "What about Arafat and the power-structure in the PA?" But actually it gave us the full leverage. Sometimes, I must say, given the fact that you have to make an agreement with a partner, and not with yourselves (which would have been difficult enough, and I hear the complaining and the bitterness of how much we gave up here), I’d like you to meet once with our negotiating partners. It was a very tough deal for Arafat to sell. No fair-minded person could have seen the DOP translated into a West Bank situation, when the West Bank remains 97 percent under Israeli full-security control; and nobody, even in the government, was hoping that this would be the end of the negotiations.
Furthermore, I would say, because of the power-relations with the Palestinians, we can achieve almost any deal. But we have to be very careful not to twist the hand too much, because if a deal is perceived by the other side’s public opinion as a humiliating deal, they will not stick to it. You cannot enforce agreements. You can try and enforce yourself; we tried for 27 years and failed bitterly. But you cannot enforce agreements. And therefore, there had to be a built-in balance.
The built-in balance is through cities, through the achievement they had in Hebron, not through the detainees which for us, by the way, public opinion-wise, is a most painful price. Here you see the enormous gaps between the sides sometimes, in which the release of a very high number of prisoners and detainees for them was still a major blow, because those they wanted to release are the veteran Fatah people, who mostly have been also involved in murder. They say very clearly, "We, your counterparts, and the Mr. VIP to whom you talk and whom meet and receive on a red carpet, we sent them to do what they did. Now that you are in the process of reconciliation with us, those we gave instructions to are still in prison." This is a very, very loaded issue, as it is enormously loaded emotionally, and for good reason, in Israel itself. But nothing is easy in this necessary divorce.
The other stages of redeployment are after one year, and another further redeployment, the last one, after 18 months. So this is more or less the schedule.
On the civilian authorities, we will transfer them, city by city, and some of them, that apply throughout the West Bank and Gaza, to be transfered only with the inauguration of the Council. Here, too, we have a system of overlap that in some places will be two weeks, in some places may take six months, and they take over control. But we will work with the people, train people, for instance on income tax. In Gaza they took over income tax and it was chaotic. In the West Bank, income tax was an authority transferred in the early empowerment. For six months, there were training courses by Israelis, for Palestinians. As a result, the whole beauracracy and the elite of the Palestinian Authority’s income tax mechanism was trained in Israel, and it’s one of the reasons that the income tax has gone smoothly.
So, we have learned our lesson too, which has to with the transfer of civilian spheres, and to be a little more generous on that side. Because our instructions were, first finish the security annex. And they said "yes" to many of the things to be started from day one. For instance, collection of illegal weapons will start one month after the entry into the A areas, establishment of security crossings, etc. There is a lot of preparation, that I will not discuss here, on the ground. In the civilian sphere, we wanted to guarantee really only what is necessary for the interests of the settlements of Israelis and Israel.
I’ll give you an example. We discussed the most technical issues, like electricity grids, on which we did not find an agreement, forests, natural resources; the most important one was zoning and planning. And here we decided to go more towards the Palestinians than in the Gaza and Jericho Agreement. Because we have an interest for them to build. We have also a mental problem with the fact that the Palestinians can build without Israeli permits. When it comes to an expansion of a city or a village, from the B area to the C area, they need our approval. But within the B area, they can build freely unless it hurts, damages, certain Israeli interests in the area of environment and some other areas then there’s the joint committee for that.
We established, in the civilian spheres, 25 joint committees to deal jointly with issues of common interest. Take archaeology, for instance. Take the environment. Nature reserves. And I think we have a good civil annex to this. We added this time a cooperation annex, in the various fields, to get more and more Israelis and more and more Palestinians involved with this process.
"Oslo I" was negotiated by a very small group. In "Oslo II", we were at the peak, in Eilat, more than 100 on each side, closed in for about two months. It was a very important and interesting experience, people of all walks of life working out really critical issues. And it’s not like the Peres-Arafat negotiations were. Very rough language can be used, and sometimes a lot of leverage exercised. Here it’s really about convincing. And regularly, we found common ground and common solutions to many of the issues. And I thought that it was so did my Palestinian counterpart that it was important to involve as many people as possible.
Because it is a mistake to see Arafat as the one center of power for the future on whom everything depends. A lot depends on him. He can carry out the difficult decisions. He can tell them. He is giving us a lot of headache, but by and large, he made the compromises on the Palestinian side. But we will have to work with the whole political, social, and economic elite of the Palestinian society if we want to make it work.
Then we come to the cooperation annex, which is one of the few annexes that, I think, are readable in normal English, unless you are an expert lawyer. I’m sure that not many people can read this agreement. One of the things, by the way, that we decided, is to translated the security annex and the specific references into simple Hebrew and simple Arabic, though the Gaza-Jericho Agreement, at least on the Palestinian side, was never translated into Arabic. And then you have a joint patrol and something happens, you open to page 224 and it says, for example, "Pursuant to Article 54 the overriding…" I wrote part of it, and I cannot understand it. So, what about the poor soldier who has to carry it out…
Anybody who talks about stopping the process, freezing the process, taking time off to think that’s may be good for other parts of the world. But the process doesn’t stop and think. The process goes on. And then there is more violence, and more terror and more HAMAS. Anybody who thought that you could shortcut and move toward a permanent status, it was an impossible jump because you come to the first issue and there is deadlock. You need this very complex interim situation.
Secondly, the main advantage of the agreement and here I am moving to simplifications, because in the end you don’t see the forest for the trees are two main issues: We are ending Israeli control and domination over another people. We used to say against their will. I would prefer to say, against our own will; and what is seen as a concession may be historically the biggest plus for Israel, in the long run.
I hear people asking all the time, "What will happen if the Palestinians will do this?," and "What will happen if the Palestinians will do that?" The real question is, "What will we do?" and, "What do we want to do?" I think that the answer is all in here. We want to create a new relationship with our Palestinian neighbors, because people can see things one way, and they can see things another way. They’re not allowed to be blind, and if you are not blind, you know that we have two million Palestinian neighbors, with whom we have to coexist in peace. Otherwise there is no security on the long run.
Some people say, "Things really haven’t changed very much." Rabin said it in his speech, at the ceremony: The five of us are here today, and nobody really gets excited. Yet to have Mubarak, Hussein, Arafat, Rabin, Clinton, on one stage, is still a fairly surrealistic picture. More importantly, Arafat himself, who was leader of the terrorist operations against Israel, and of the whole philosophy to eradicate Israel, is today leading the struggle against HAMAS terror. He has not fallen in love with Israel, nor with Zionism, nor is he the most perfect executor of such a policy. But he’s doing quite well, and he is exposing security cooperation with Israel which no Arab leader could do or say.
Now, the dependency should not only be a security dependency, because there is, to be honest, also an interdependency. We are strong, but not that strong: the Palestinian problem, if the wound remains open, is also taking away resources from us. Internationally, domestically, and whenever you want to escape it, it comes after you. It is the core, the heart, of the problem. We must create here a more positive interdependency than just us running their lives, which has failed, and which has failed historically everywhere.
We have decided to start and create a cooperative effort, in economics which is key. The economic development of the West Bank and Gaza, I would say, is the most important effort to destroy the HAMAS. Whoever undermines the economic effort to strengthen Gaza and the West Bank, is undermining Israeli security. Point-blank.
What the conditions are, I believe, we know: first, where we have the leverage, where we use it, what is more realistic, and what is less realistic. We have achieved major successes that I cannot outline here, in terms of operative preparation of how to be after the HAMAS and the Islamic Jihad. People forget the terror and the intifada to which we were exposed before the agreement. There is no intifada today.
But the HAMAS is desperate. It will continue its effort with the suicide bombs. It will even try and escalate. We are dealing, by and large, with an effort that is surgical. The healing process will take time, after one hundred years of conflict, rather than an illusionary cure, aspirin here, an aspirin there, or the rhetorical arguments here and the rhetorical arguments there.
It really takes the right decision, and not a little courage, for politicians to embark on a process that takes time in its healing. Among the experts on our side forget the politicians on both sides of the political fence there is little doubt that this ultimately will stabilize the situation. There is no other way. The military said for years: "There is no military solution to the Palestinian problem, only a political one."
Two very last points: There will be many imperfections in the implementation of such an agreement, and we’ll have to look at what the achievements are, and we will have to look at what the problems are, and there are ways to rectify the problems. Those who sit with a magnifying glass, and say, "Ah! I told you so" on both sides, there are such people don’t want the success of this agreement.
We sit together with the Palestinians, we have a monetary committee. They have a list of 150 obligations of the agreement on the Israeli side; our list is about double. We will have to work together to implement this and to make it work.
The last point has to do with your support. I think that two kinds of support are possible. One is a passive one. I don’t think that anybody can undermine the very basic notion, that existed for 47 years, that American Jewry supports the democratically-elected government in Israel. Anybody who undermines this, undermines the foundations of our relations.
In this category I would add that those who disagree with us, I have at least a full respect for such disagreement. As long it’s rhetorical and, personally, I would go even further even if it’s not in closed rooms, it can be public I never was in favor of quieting the debate. But when it comes to take measures that affect our security, we will define our security, and no one else can do it for us. On this we will not tolerate any involvement in what the elected government of Israel finds it as appropriate for its security to do in this country. Because anybody who will break these premises, will break something much worse than things that affect this agreement.
The second kind of support is a more pro-active one, for those who really see in it, as we do, an historic turning-point. We are getting rid of a major moral burden. Very few enjoyed sending their children to be policemen of children of Palestinians, and to humiliate them on a daily basis.
We met Palestinians now, and I can tell you, as somebody who I believe was very sensitive to the topic: we did not understand the humiliation that the other side went through. You can say a million times, "It’s their fault," but there is not a child in the West Bank, rightly or wrongly maybe even rightly who didn’t see his father getting beat up by IDF soldiers. And this leaves scars.
And there are as deep, if not deeper, scars in our society people who were wounded, or family members killed by terror. But in the end, those who were wounded, or lost their family members, on both sides or were humiliated in the end, they will have to live together. And it’s a very difficult process.
It’s very easy to preach that Arafat should be as good-looking as Robert Redford, act according to Jeffersonian democracy, have a Swiss banking-account economy, be as effective as the IDF, and uphold human rights like British bobbies. It’s nonsense. I don’t think that anybody who would have taken over Gaza could have done a better job. I know Arafat is slow; I can talk to you about it 24 hours. But Gaza was taken over in a horrendous situation. There is 50 percent unemployment, there is not a single sewer system, the density of the population is among the highest in the world. But things are gradually improving. Maybe because of a sense of freedom.
People go to the store. What happens at the store? Maybe the most hopeful processes of all. Their wages are going up. There is a beginning of a secularization of the Palestinian society in Gaza. Ultimately it is a struggle between the Fatah and the HAMAS. If anybody would find a Zionist organization to lead the Palestinians, I, too, would opt for that. If anybody would find a pro-Jordanian organization with support of one percent, maybe I would opt for that.
But the best we have now is this man, and this organization, and this structure, which is committed to everything that I have said here. We will have to work with great creativity, and together, on the implementation. Things will have to change on the Palestinian side, for better implementation, and on the Israeli side as well. This is not just a consideration of the past.
There will have to be a mental switch on both sides. Because we don’t have the luxury just to analyze the agreement, "Is it going well, or is it going badly." We will have to improve reality. I don’t believe it can happen overnight. Some of the reconciliation processes between the children may take a full generation. But I do think that we’ve embarked on the only road that will ultimately give us security, that will lead our country to deal with the type of resources that it needs, especially in the area of education, and higher education, and development of the economy, that opens us tremendous opportunities in the region again, a very complicated region. Since Oslo, we have established diplomatic relations with 30 or 40 countries around the world, and with the relevant repercussions for our exports.
And here, when I come to speak about your support, anybody who believes in it, there are tremendous ways of not just saying, "Yes, we are for peace." This is an historical journey of major ramifications for Zionism and the State of Israel. Those who want to be out of it, I respect your decision. But for those who want to be in it, there is a lot to do here, because there are many efforts that will be done together. We have established a trilateral committee on economic affairs. We established with the U.S. administration a quatrialateral committee with Jordan, the Palestinians and Israel, which also may affect the permanent status; and we are establishing cooperative programs between us and the Palestinians. They don’t bite. They are much more afraid than we are.
We invite you. Those who want to come along are welcome. Those that don’t, should and have to to abide, I believe, as we should, to the basic principles that guided our relationship in the past and will guide them in the future.