Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Sean McCormack, State dept spokesman, on the "root cause" and demonstrating how a greeen light is lit

Israeli Army presses into Gaza - Africa & Middle East - International Herald Tribune

Note, there is no mention whatsoever of Palestinian victims. This is diplo-speak for giving a green light for collective punishment:

QUESTION: On the Middle East. The escalation continues. You have Qassam rockets into Israel on the Palestinian side and continued Israeli offensives into Gaza, the attack of several Palestinian legislative buildings and government buildings. What is the U.S. doing right now to try and calm the parties down? Have there been any more calls by the Secretary?
MR. MCCORMACK: In terms of the Secretary's calls, no, not on that. Our people on the ground and in the region both in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv as well as other countries in the region are doing what they can to gain the release -- see that the Israeli soldier is released. That has been the root cause of what has happened and unfolded there over the past week or so is the attack in Israeli territory on this guard post, the killing of two soldiers and the kidnapping of a soldier.

So the focus of our diplomatic activities and the diplomatic activities of many in the region has been to gain the release of that soldier. Certainly we recognize Israel's right to defend itself. We have also talked to the Israeli
Government and encouraged restraint in their actions. But as Secretary Rice noted, there are responsibilities of others as well. She noted the fact that Qassam rockets continue to rain down on Israeli territory. That is the responsibility of the Palestinian Authority to stop. They have not done so. As a matter of fact, there's rockets -- rocket attacks didn't just start after the kidnapping of the soldier. There have been many, many prior to the kidnapping of the soldier and the Palestinian Authority has a responsibility to stop those. And certainly the international community wants to see them

QUESTION: Well, the fact that they're not meeting that responsibility, do you think that legitimizes the attacks on government buildings?

MR. MCCORMACK: You're using -- you know, again, you're using the words "attack" and this sort of -- what Israel needs to do. Let's talk about what the root cause of this is. What has been --

QUESTION: I mean you talked about -- you already talked about the root cause.

MR. MCCORMACK: Again, we have -- Israel, we have said, has a right to defend itself and what we want to see is this soldier returned. We have via our people on the ground as well as in public talked about the fact that it is important for Israel to exercise restraint so that one day, as the Secretary
said, you can get back on the footing where there is the possibility of a negotiated settlement.

But you certainly don't get to that pathway, you don't realize a two-state solution, by the kinds of activities that we have seen by the Palestinian Authority, by the terrorists that have -- that are responsible for these attacks on innocent civilians and this kidnapping.

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