I declare my support for the State of Israel and for
the security of the Israeli people. I also declare my support for a
Palestinian state and for the security of the Palestinian people. So
I will vote present today because I believe the security of Israel requires
the security of the Palestinians.
I will vote present because I believe the United States
can do better through honest brokering, and a principled commitment
to peaceful coexistence.
Today, we are missing an opportunity to lead people
of the Middle East toward a secure and stable future together. This
resolution equates Israel's dilemma, which is the outcome of the Palestinian's
struggle for self-determination, with the United States' campaign against
the criminal organization, Al Queda.
Unfortunately, our own policy is undefined, amorphous,
without borders, without limits, and without congressional oversight.
For this Congress to place the historic Israeli-Palestinian conflict
into the context of the current fashion of US global policy pitches
Israelis and Palestinians alike into a black hole of policy without
purpose, and conflict without resolution.
The same humanity that requires us to acknowledge
with profound concerns the pain and suffering of the people of Israel
requires a similar expression for the pain and suffering of the Palestinians.
When our brothers and sisters are fighting to the death, instead of
declaring solidarity with one against the other, should we not declare
solidarity with both for peace, so that both may live in security and
If we seek to require the Palestinians, who do not
have their own state, to adhere to a higher standard of conduct, should
we not also ask Israel, with over a half century experience with statehood,
to adhere to the basic standard of conduct, including meeting the requirements
of international law?
There is a role for Congress and the Administration
in helping to bring a lasting peace in the Middle East; however, this
resolution does not create that role. After today we will still need
to determine a course of action to bring about peace. This course will
require multilateral diplomacy, which strengthens cooperation among
all countries in the region. It will require focused, unwavering attention.
It will require sufficient financial resources. And it will require
that our nation have the political will to bring about a true, a fair,
and a sustainable resolution of the conflict.
When this Congress enters into the conflict and takes
sides between Israel and Palestine we do not help to achieve peace,
but the opposite. Similarly, the Administration should consider that
when it conducts a war against terrorism without limits the principle
of war is quickened everywhere in the world, including the Middle East.
When it talks incessantly about invading Iraq, the tempo of war is picked
If we truly want peace in the Middle East, this resolution
is counter-productive. I will vote present because I do not believe
that this resolution dignifies the role towards creating peace, which
this Congress can and must fulfill. (Kucinich
As the next President of the United States, it would
be my intention and my goal, and my concerted effort with all my heart
to work to achieve peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis,
to understand that the security of Israel depends upon the security
of the Palestinian people, and that in order to achieve security for
all parties, we must stand not only for an autonomous Palestinian state,
but as the gentleman who so kindly introduced me pointed out, we must
also see the rebuilding of all of those areas that are now in the Palestinian
territories, those areas that have been devastated, those areas where
the homes have been wrecked, and the businesses have been wrecked, the
infrastructure destroyed, because to talk about political autonomy is
a mirage, unless you talk about economic vitality. So there must be
jobs, there must be healthcare, there must be education, there must
be an opportunity for people to be able to breathe, and to be able to
live freely. I think that's possible. I think there are many people
in Israel who understand how important is it for the Palestinian people
to achieve not only autonomy, but economy viability.
So my plan would be to achieve that, and to work towards
that. And I think the United States can help to foster that. The United
States can help to foster a negotiating structure, where we get both
parties to agree on the sharing of water rights, because water rights
can be the basis of further conflict, and they can also be the basis
of further cooperation. And we must use our influence in construction
a negotiating climate, where we can move towards getting the parties
to agree to share water rights. So, too, we must move forward to create
a circumstance where the parties will understand that the security of
one depends on the security of the other, and there must be mutual agreements
to provide security. And as we foster that kind of climate for negotiations,
we can then enable the parties to come to those decisions which truly
Israelis and Palestinians must be able to resolve on their own, and
that we cannot force a decision on these matters of borders and right
of return. I think we can create a climate to cause the parties to resolve
There's a few other things the United States can and
must do, and we must do them now. We must use our considerable influence
with Israel to ask Israel to stop building walls, ask Israel to tear
down the walls, ask Israel to not participate in the building of any
new settlements, because we have to recognize that in order to achieve
peace we must stop anything that smacks of isolation, or of creating
conditions which will make it that much more difficult to achieve a
peaceful agreement. We must come from a place where we understand that
we're all brothers and sisters, and when our brothers are killing each
other, I believe it's for us to try to create circumstances where we
can help heal both, so that both may live together and exist peacefully.
American Institute, October 17, 2003)