Democrats & Liberals Archives

Palestinian Problem Solved?

President Bush made a monumental change in US policy regarding Israel and Palestine. He has decided the US will no longer play the role of “honest broker” for a peace plan, and will fully back the Israelis.

President Bush said yesterday, “In light of new realities on the ground, including already existing major Israeli population centers, it is unrealistic that the outcome of final status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949,”.

So Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who has pushed hard for West Bank Jewish settlements with exactly this outcome in mind, has seen his plan succeed. The settlements, coupled with the backing of the United States, have brought the Israeli annexation of the West Bank one step closer to reality.

Sharon's plan, with which George W. Bush is in full agreement, is to dismantle some of the smaller West Bank Jewish settlements, pull out of Gaza, and deny any "right of return" to displaced Palestinians.

Bush mentions the creation of a contiguous Palestinian territory linking the West Bank and Gaza, but looking at a map, I'm hard pressed to figure out how that can be done without bisecting Israel. I know Sharon looks at the same map, and I suspect he comes back again and again to a plan for relocating all the Palestinians to Gaza. How could you not; it's as obvious as a punch in the nose.

With the biggest obstacle to a military solution of the Palestinian question out of the way, and with the active support of George W. Bush for ensuring the security of Israel (we now have 135,000 troops and other military forces stationed nearby), it will be interesting to see how far and how fast Sharon decides to capitalize on this shift in US policy.

Posted by American Pundit at April 15, 2004 2:03 AM