I said it hasn’t been done for 18 years. They said, “But if you do this and you give it enough time, like almost a year, Abu Mazen will come in.” I said that’s almost impossible to do, but I ended up doing it! After 10 months, he came in and the only thing I heard was a demand for another three months. And I think it proved that the problem wasn’t a settlement freeze. The problem isn’t the settlements. That’s an issue that will have to be solved in negotiations. But what’s the real reason this conflict has not been solved and has been going on for years before we had a single settlement? And after we left Gaza and tore up the settlements, the conflict continued.
You think the real reason this conflict hasn’t been solved is . . .?
The real reason is the persistent refusal to recognize a sovereign Jewish state in any boundary. That was and remains the core of this conflict. To solve this, the Palestinians will have to recognize the Jewish state just as we recognize a Palestinian state. Both peoples, both nations, deserve a nation-state of their own. Palestinians, if they wish so, will go to the Palestinian state; Jews, if they so wish, can go to the Jewish state. And we’ll have to have security and demilitarization agreements between us. But the beginning of the conflict and the root of the conflict is the refusal to recognize Israel in any boundary. Once this is overcome, I think there is a chance for peace. I think that is never recognized because people are fixated on one of the results of conflict, which are the settlements, but it’s certainly not its cause.