web analytics
March 2, 2015 / 11 Adar , 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Stay the Course, Mr. President

President Bush’s heretofore steadfast message to Yasir Arafat – that the Palestinian leaders’ abandonment of the peace table in favor of the battlefield will not be rewarded – is consistent with what we continue to believe is the only road to peace.

It is only when the Palestinian leadership finally realizes that political gain will not come through the barrel of a gun, but through direct dealing with Israel, that an accommodation between Israel and the Palestinians is possible.

If Arafat and company are in any way encouraged to believe that, as was the case during the Clinton years, violence ultimately leads to greater Israeli concessions, and the United States will as a result pressure Israel with proposals of its own, no peaceful resolution will ever be possible. Thus, in recent months, it has become critical that there be no compromise on the idea that an unconditional cessation of violence is the absolute precondition to a resumption of negotiations and that the U.S. will not become a party to any negotiations without said preconditions.

Despite Arafat’s persistent effort to trade an end to the violence for a settlement freeze and to draw the United States into an active role, the Bush administration resisted any such linkage or involvement. Unfortunately, Secretary of State Colin Powell’s comments at Monday’s press conference on the Mitchell Report seems to signal a retreat from this principled position.

To be sure, the Secretary was careful not to link the settlement issue to the cessation of violence. Thus, while he referred to a settlement freeze as a ‘key issue’ in future peace efforts, he spoke of it as a ‘confidence-building’ measure and specifically separated it from the necessity for an end to violence:

Unless there is some progress on that one [i.e., settlements], then it is going to be very, very difficult to see how we get into a cooling-off period and a process that leads to negotiations.

It is not linked, however, to ending the violence. We should end the violence, and none of the confidence-building measures or all the confidence-building measures together are not linked to ending the violence. It’s a very clear sequence in my mind.

But by speaking of the two in the same context, and by his embracing of the Mitchell Report’s similar approach, Secretary Powell sends the inevitable message that as far as the United States is concerned, if Arafat ends the violence he can now expect that at some point in the near future a settlement freeze will be put in place.

Moreover, Secretary Powell has also appointed a special representative to mediate between the two sides and to facilitate implementation of the recommendations of the Mitchell Report. Plainly, this entails U.S. proposals and an inevitable selling job. The distinction between this and Clintonian ‘pressure’ is hard to fathom.

Nor are the settlements the only substantive issue at stake here. What of the Palestinian demand for the right of repatriation of refugees? Or final borders? Or the militarization of the West Bank? Why will Arafat not believe that he retains a battlefield option regarding them too?

In a rare display of candor, a high Palestinian official told it like it is to a New York Times reporter:

“Now it’s a finger-biting game between the Israelis and the Palestinian,” said Hassan Ayoub, director of the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s executive committee office in Nablus. “The first one who says ouch is the one who loses. And nobody’s going to say ouch no matter how bad it hurts.”

There should be no mistaking the fact that this is all part of a process. And Arafat is looking to see who will blink first. In the interests of peace, President Bush should pull the United States back from the dangerous road on which Secretary of State Powell has now embarked it.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Stay the Course, Mr. President”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Americans have a more favorable view of Netanyahu than they do of Obama.
Americans’ Favorable View of Netanyahu at Record High, Says Gallup Poll
Latest Indepth Stories
UGANorthCampusSign

The University of Georgia Student Government Association called for more investment in Israel.

Middle-East-map

Without an alliance comparable to ISIS, Al Qaida & Iran, militant Islam will conquer the Middle East

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu prays at the Western Wall ahead of his speech next week at the US Congress.

Ultimately, Esther, Netanyahu, and we, the Jewish people, must and will rely on the true King, God, for our salvation from this genocidal threat.

Netanyahu carried his message to Americans through the media after meeting with President Obama and castigating Iran at the UN. (September 30, 2013)

Netanyahu addresses a clear, present & lethal threat to the US/Israel/WORLD; NOT political bickering

Buried in the tax-returns of the JCF is millions of dollars funneled to NIF in the last few years.

Bibi’s speech to Congress will bring respect and honor to the Jewish Nation from the US & the world

Obama & Putin have handwriting/signature clues indicating differences between public & private life

It’s time for a new Jewish policy regarding Ramallah, NOT just because of the yarmulke incident

“GETT’s” being screened for Israeli Rabbinical Court judges at their annual convention.

If Jackson were alive he’d denounce Democratic party’s silence towards virulent anti-Semitism

Victim of Palestinian Arab terrorism, a victor in NY federal court, after years of being ignored by Justice Dept.

March 2013: Arabs hurled stones hitting the Biton’s car; Adele’s mother swerved the car-into a truck

The real issue is that in many respects the president has sought to recalibrate American values and our system of government.

More Articles from Editorial Board

The real issue is that in many respects the president has sought to recalibrate American values and our system of government.

Former Connecticut senator Joe Lieberman, writing in the Washington Post on Sunday, provided one of the clearest and most compelling analyses we’ve seen of the importance of the prime minister’s speech.

Gone are the days when an anchorman sitting in a New York studio could, after sharing 22 minutes of carefully selected and edited news items, trumpet in stentorian tones, “And that’s the way it is.” No it wasn’t. It never was.

President Obama has frequently cautioned that Americans should take great care to avoid fomenting anti-Muslim passions in our reaction to the murderous activities regularly being perpetrated by terrorists in the name of Islam. One wonders why, though, he seems to have no concern with the potential for anti-Semitic fallout from his full-court press against Israeli […]

Typical of the administration’s milquetoast approach is the lack of any call for a substantial increase in military resources in order to crush ISIL, only a tepid mention of the need to “ultimately defeat” it.

He spent the first leg of his daylong visit to the French capital at Hyper Cacher.

In this particular case, the issue was whether the Arkansas prison system could prohibit, for security reasons, a devout Muslim’s maintaining a beard of a certain length as a matter of religious practice.

According to Natan Sharansky, director of the Jewish Agency for Israel, France was the largest source of Jewish emigration to Israel last year and he believes as many as 15,000 French Jews may make aliyah in 2015.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/stay-the-course-mr-president/2001/06/20/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: