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Sharpton on Arafat / Terrorists
Secondly, in the Middle East, it's not a question of
terrorists. Who defines terrorists? Today's terrorist is tomorrow's
friend. We were the ones that worked with Saddam Hussein. The United
States worked with bin Laden. I went in 2001 and met with Arafat ....
Would anyone here meet with Arafat, in terms of trying to get peace
in the Middle East? (Washington Post, October 27, 2003)
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. You took Senator Lieberman
on. You saidand tell me if I'm wrongbut that if you were
president, you would speak, you would deal directly with Arafat? Is
that right? And, if so, what would youI mean tell me how you'd
SHARPTON: What I said washe said we shouldn't meet with terrorists,
and I said are youfirst of all, define who the terrorists are,
and, second of all, are you saying you wouldn't meet with the head of
the Palestinian Authority, Mr. Arafat, if it meant that you would be
leading toward a peaceful resolution, are you attacking Bill Clinton
for meeting with Yasser Arafat?
I went to Israel and the Israeli Foreign Minister Peres told me how
to talk to Arafat, and I did, and I wanted him to define that since
he had went there in his statement that he would not deal with terrorists.
I think that it's important that we understand what the candidates are
saying and whether or not we are really willing to do what is necessary
to try to establish a peace and a just and balanced policy in the Middle
VAN SUSTEREN: Is Arafat part of the problem in your mind or part of
SHARPTON: I think that one can negotiate with those on all sides and
assume that there has been serious problems on the Palestinian side
many feel Arafat instigated, but I also think that the solutions have
not been achievable without him being part of the discussions.
VAN SUSTEREN: But there wasbut he wouldn't even accept it when
President Clinton attempted to do that. I mean that didn't work with
SHARPTON: Well, first of all, it did not work but it has not worked
eliminating him. We started dealing with another prime minister. He
was able to get that prime minister out. I think that we've got to deal
realistically, that we must try to find some level of peace and some
level of balance, and we must do that in a situation that the people
that are at the table can deliver what they promised. I don't know...
(Source: FOX News with Greta Van Susteren, 10/27/03)
Sharpton on a "balanced approach"
In an interview with finalcall.com (the Nation of
Islam's newsletter) Sharpton said, solutions [to the Israeli Palestinian
conflict] have to take on a balanced approach. The United States and
others cannot go in without dealing with the balanced approach. I must
say, Secretary Powell has begun talking more balanced of late but clearly
that was not the case before. You cannot ignore that even people in
Israel are saying you have to deal with the right of Palestinians to
a state. When I was in Israel, Foreign Minister Shimon Peres was one
of those who encouraged me to talk to Arafat, that he considered Arafat
someone he could talk to. Arafat called Peres when I met with him, his
partner in peace. They both won a Nobel Peace Prize together. I think
there are those, particularly in this country, that are inciting a lot
more of a situation that is detrimental than inspiring a level playing
field that could lead to a peaceful resolution to this. (Source: Arab American Institute)