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Negotiating With Terrorists
Daniel C. Juster, Director
The Debate on Negotiating with Terrorists
Last May, a verbal firestorm erupted between President George W. Bush, Senator John McCain and Senator Barack Obama. The occasion was President Bush's visit to Israel and his address to the Israeli Parliament (the Knesset). The speech was very well received. In spite of his poor approval rating in the States, the President is very popular in Israel. In his speech, the President sharply criticized those who believe that we should negotiate with terrorists; he equated this orientation with appeasement. The Israeli leadership applauded his stand. However, a few days later (much to Israel's embarrassment), the Jerusalem Post revealed that Israel had been negotiating via Egyptian mediation with Hamas for a cease fire.
Senator Obama took issue with Bush; he reacted as if he was the object of the President's criticism. Democrats cried, 'Foul!' countering that the President used a state visit to Israel to play politics and unfairly criticize Senator Obama. They asked John McCain to repudiate what Bush had said. Senator McCain, however, stood with President Bush and said that Senator Obama was naïve in saying that he would negotiate with sponsors of terrorism without preconditions. McCain asked, what would Obama say to convince them that their behavior was wrong and that they should change? Obama's position would undermine the public stand of the United States and European powers not to negotiate with Hamas as long as they do not accept the existence of srael. Negotiations would surely empower Hamas. The President believes that political isolation, economic boycotts and military intervention against terrorists is the right policy.
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All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicted, are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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the Institute for Labor and Mental Health, or Rabbi Michael Lerner.
Tikkun International, Inc. is not affiliated with TIKKUN magazine, the Institute for Labor and Mental Health, or Rabbi Michael Lerner.