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PRESS RELEASE


LaRouche Gives Full Support
to Yossi Beilin Proposal

Aug. 14, 2006 (EIRNS)—The following release was issued today by the Lyndon LaRouche Political Action Committee.

Lyndon LaRouche today announced his personal, enthusiastic support for the proposal by former Israeli Cabinet Minister Yossi Beilin, for the immediate convening of a "Madrid II" conference, to implement a comprehensive Middle East peace agreement, including the creation of a fully sovereign Palestinian state on the West Bank and Gaza Strip, in line with a succession of proposals made by American Presidents from George H.W. Bush through Bill Clinton to George W. Bush, and dating back to 1991.

LaRouche urged immediate action on the Beilin call, "because forces are already working, feverishly, in the opposite direction." LaRouche said that now is the time to make a comprehensive peace deal work "while things are in flux," following United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701 and its endorsement by both the Lebanese and Israeli Cabinets. "We have an opportunity right now," LaRouche continued, "to get out of the war. I know Yossi Beilin and I am confident that he means what he says. He is not only promoting the two-state solution, which is the only thing that will work. He knows that there must be a solid economic foundation for any peace to be durable."

LaRouche added that the greatest danger right now is the eruption of "global asymmetric warfare, with the Middle East serving as the fuse." LaRouche also cautioned against any euphoric reaction to the Security Council resolution and the Lebanese and Israeli governments' support. "The war danger has not been eliminated, as ongoing events in both Iraq and Afghanistan emphasize." LaRouche noted that one benefit of a major breakthrough in the Middle East peace process is that it would help "bail the U.S. out of the terrible failure of the Bush Administration's bungling of the situation in Afghanistan. There was no U.S. victory in Afghanistan. Bush and Cheney suffered a terrible failure there."

Documentation

Beilin's proposal appeared in an article entitled "The 'Morning After' Commission," published in the Israeli daily Ha'aretz on Aug. 13. There, Beilin warns that Ehud Olmert will be hit with demands for a Commission of Inquiry into the disasters of the Lebanon invasion of July 2006, so Olmert himself should initiate one. But, what Israel really needs, Beilin says, is a bold move for peace.

Beilin, who was a key Oslo negotiator, and was involved in the peace talks organized by former U.S. President Bill Clinton, says:

"An attempt to convene a second Madrid Conference would be a grand, dramatic political move that would be accepted, at least at the start, by a very large majority in the public and the Knesset. The first Madrid Conference, which convened in October 1991, changed the face of the Middle East and allowed, for the first time in history, direct negotiations between Israel and Syria, Lebanon, and a Jordanian-Palestinian delegation over a peace agreement. The discussions led exactly three years later to the Israeli-Jordanian peace treaty, which was made possible by the Oslo agreements signed by Israel and the PLO. The discussions with Lebanon were totally dependent on those with Syria, and therefore did not lead anywhere. The discussions with Syria, which ceased in 1996 and resumed in 1999, were halted again when the sides reached an agreement on all the problems on the agenda except for the northeast coastline of the Kinneret.

"It is true that many terrible things have happened since: the second intifada, the Hamas victory, 9/11, Iranian extremism, the conflict in Gaza after the disengagement and a second war in Lebanon. But there were also positive developments. Syria left Lebanon, Saddam Hussein's regime was toppled, Fouad Siniora was elected prime minister of Lebanon, and Bashar Assad and Mahmoud Abbas' willingness to begin negotiations with Israel create better circumstances for a second Madrid Conference than existed on the eve of the first.

"It is also worth adding that the gaps in the matter of the final status arrangements have been greatly narrowed over the last 15 years. In Israel of 2006, there is a near-consensus about a Palestinian state, and Israel's prime minister is ready to give up 90 percent of the West Bank, unilaterally. The Clinton document, the Bush 'vision,' the Road Map, the Arab League Summit decision of 2002, and the Geneva Initiative all paint a clear picture of a permanent Israeli-Palestinian agreement. The public and secret talks with the Syrians since 1991 also sketch, nearly completely, the outline of an Israeli-Syrian agreement.

"In 1991, it was the U.S. that invested the effort in persuading Israel to take part in such a conference. This time it will be Olmert's job to persuade President Bush that prying Syria out of the Axis of Evil, peace with Lebanon, and an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are practical moves, which—if they work—could save the Middle East and help achieve the reforming vision Bush believes in so much."