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another foreign piece of advice for israel

Reader comment on item: [Israel's Gaza Withdrawal:] A Democracy Killing Itself

Submitted by jr (United States), Aug 15, 2005 at 11:37

I agree with Sharon quote: "A unilateral withdrawal is not a recipe for peace." However, D. Pipes' disapproval of Sharon only made more noticeable by his faithful commitment to George Bush renders this article an... attempt to lay the groundwork for continued blame on Israel for anticipated failure of mideast peace even after Israeli withdrawal from Gaza while re-writing history to minimize US muscle as a key element of the decision. ...

Pipes presents the US response to the December 2003 Israeli decision to unilaterally pull soldiers and civilians from Gaza as requiring "months of persuasion ...to get the White House to embrace the initiative."

"...the Israeli occupation that began in 1967 will be ended through a settlement negotiated between the parties, based on UN resolutions 242 and 338, with Israeli withdrawal to secure and recognize borders." This quote is part of a speech that included other statements such as "[P]ermanent occupation threatens Israel's identity and democracy," and "consistent with the recommendations of the Mitchell Committee, Israeli settlement activity in the occupied territories must stop." In the same speech, concluding, this is "a test to show who is serious about peace and who is not." These quotes are from George Bush's speech on Israel and a Palestinian state on June 25, 2002 (http://www.guardian.co.uk), 18 months before the alleged reluctance by the US that supposedly required "months of persuasion."

Instead of trying to preempt the criticism of George Bush that will inevitably follow his mideast policy that boils down to the fact that like the Iraqis George Bush has decided that the Palestinians "deserve democracy and the rule of law," including Bush's 6/2002 statement that "with intensive effort by all, this agreement could be reached within three years from now. And I and my country will actively lead toward that goal," (hmm, now it's 8/05, still think George Bush didn't have anything to say to Sharon as his 3 year goal from 6/02?), why not acknowledge that this is just another Bush goal to achieve a Bush goal like the toppling of Sadaam. The peace these steps will achieve is as elusive as the "mission accomplished" Bush boasted about Iraq.

It is George Bush who has shown his pattern of behavior--he rocks the boat without any idea of how long, if ever, and what will be required to stabilize the "boat" again. Pipes isn't happy about withdrawal, many aren't, but to ignore the bully pulpit that has become US foreign policy perpetuates the risk that US respect in the world at large will continue to diminish.

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