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.”

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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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