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May 30, 2015 / 12 Sivan, 5775
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Secretary Powell's Speech

We refer our readers to the Jerusalem Post editorial appearing below on the topic of Secretary of State Colin Powell's speech on the Middle East. But we also offer the following:

There is certainly ample basis for both the positive and negative comments on Secretary Powell's speech. On the negative side of the ledger were his support for a Palestinian state, the dispatch of “special envoys” reminiscent of the Clinton “pressure” years, the use of the term “occupation” when referring to Israel's control over Yehuda and Shomron, and his condemnation of the “settlements.”

But, on the other hand, he also spoke of the primacy of Arafat's stopping the violence and incitement against Israel and Israelis, the necessity for the Arab world to accept Israel as a legitimate part of the Middle East, and the Palestinian obligation to keep its promises. And there was more.

But as his remarks sink in and we consider them carefully, we would all do well to consider what President Bush has done with the Clinton Middle East legacy. To paraphrase President Ronald Reagan, “Does anyone doubt that Israel is now better off than it was when it labored under the heavy hand of the much-touted “best friend Israel ever had in the White House?”

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There was something else of great importance in play – something we would have liked to see him take into account before deciding to stand with the boycotters.

“Let’s get something straight so we don’t kid each other…[the Iranians] already have paved a path to a bomb’s worth of material,” said Mr. Biden. “Iran could get there now if they walked away in two to three months without a deal.”

Beyond the particulars of this tragic death, however, we should all be concerned about the possibility that a criminal prosecution in a major American city is being driven by fear of mobs in the street.

The president is unwilling to cede any of what he considers his exclusive powers in the area of foreign policy and has struggled mightily to keep the Senate away from any role in the kind of deal to be negotiated.

A committed Religious Zionist, he was a sought-after adviser on Zionist affairs around the world.

More important, Mr. Obama is simply acceding to Iran’s position on the timing of the lifting of sanctions.

For our community, Mrs. Clinton’s foreign policy record will doubtless attract the most attention. And it is a most interesting one.

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