Natan Sharansky, Fmr. Israeli Interior Minister and Saeb Erekat, Palestinian Negotiator

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This is a partial transcript from Your World with Neil Cavuto, September 17, 2003, that was edited for clarity.

Watch Your World w/Cavuto weekdays at 4 p.m. and 1 a.m. ET.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Well, it was one of the biggest deals in history, the Camp David (search) peace accord signed 25 years ago today between two nations the world thought would never make nice, but does that mean there’s hope for the current situation there? A man who’s got a history for negotiations thinks this road map has hope.


JIMMY CARTER, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It’s very interesting to me how almost completely compatible it is with what was done at Camp David and what was confirmed later on in the Oslo negotiations.


CAVUTO: Well, can history blaze a trail for the future?

Joining me today from Washington, former Israeli official Natan Sharansky, and, on the phone from Jericho, Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat.

Gentlemen, welcome to both of you.

Mr. Erekat, I ended with you. Let me begin with you. Do you think we could ever have an accord of the heft that we had 25 years ago between Egypt an Israel?

SAEB EREKAT, PALESTINIAN NEGOTIATOR: Absolutely. I’m a firm believer that our conflict with the Israelis is not a zero-sum game. We have been losers for the last 50 years, and I think the only way to make winners is through a meaningful for peace process.

I know it’s doable. I know one day there will be a Palestinian state next to the state of Israel. But, unfortunately, now the trust level between the two sides is below zero, and the current Israeli government is busy with scoring points and finger-pointing at us and accusing President Arafat of so many things.

The man who signed the peace, the man who had to organize Israel’s right to exist in 78 percent of historic Palestine, but I call upon Mr. Sharansky and all the Israelis to understand that the way to peace is through negotiations...

CAVUTO: All right. Mr. Sharansky, what do you make of that?

NATAN SHARANSKY, FORMER ISRAELI MINISTER OF INTERIOR: Well, why Camp David when peace with Egypt became possible, because President Sadat had the courage to recognize the State of Israel and to propose us real peace.

And, unfortunately, when we propose peace through Palestinians, and we propose them to have their own state, they responded with the wave of terror.

The moment the same goodwill which was displayed by Anwar Sadat will be displayed by the leaders of Palestinian Authority, the peace will be possible.

CAVUTO: Mr. Erekat, is it possible for any top Palestinian official to condemn killing?

EREKAT: Absolutely. I condemn suicide bombings, I condemn the killing of innocent Israeli civilians, and I wish...

CAVUTO: So why, Mr. Erekat, doesn’t that word then get out to these groups?

EREKAT: Come on. I wish that Mr. Sharansky will stand up and have the moral courage to tell you that he resigned from Barak’s cabinet because he refused to come to Camp David. Mr. Barak came to Camp David with Sharansky out. He came without a government.

And I ask Mr. Sharansky are you willing tonight to come back to the negotiating table because I’m inviting you, I’m inviting Mr. Sharon to come back to the negotiating table. We have the road map. Let us stop scoring point. Let us concentrate on saving the lives of Israelis and Palestinians.

CAVUTO: Mr. Sharansky, go ahead.

SHARANSKY: I want to remind that when Ehud Barak went to Camp David, I resigned from the government and told him, Ehud, there is no chance that you’ll bring us peace with this proposal, you’ll bring us war because, unfortunately, Palestinian Authority’s corrupt dictatorship, which is not interested in a commitment to peace comes with a commitment to the democracy and human rights.

Unfortunately, I happened to be right, and, since that day, we are the victims of the terrorist war, and almost every day our citizens are killed by terrorist organizations, and Palestinian Authority is not ready to fight the terror. That is the reason why we don’t have peace until now.

CAVUTO: All right. Gentlemen I wish we had more time.

Natan Sharansky. Saeb Erekat. People getting an idea why we’re not getting anywhere.

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