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The self-defeating Mideast policy of the second Bush Administration (ISRAEL INSIDER COMMENTARY) By Shalom Freedman 02/03/05)Source: http://web.israelinsider.com/views/4922.htm ISRAEL INSIDER ISRAEL INSIDER Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
The new Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has forcefully stated that the Bush Administration is dedicated to the establishment of a contiguous Palestinian Arab State. She has also said that the intended Israeli withdrawal from Gaza and northern Samaria is only a first-stage, and that there must be further withdrawals.

This is a clear indication that the Bush Administration intends not only to in the next four years establish a sovereign Arab State, but establish one in almost all of Judea, Samaria and Gaza. There is a very great danger that this determined stance, and push for a Palestinian Arab state, will undermine another major long-term goal of the US Administration: maintaining the security of the State of Israel.

Of course, the Administration has repeatedly stated that the Palestinians must, before earning a state, put an end to terror, and show that they intend to live in peace with Israel.

Yet there are very great pressures on the Administration, as the Israelis did themselves with the Oslo process, to ignore Palestinian violations in order to move the process forward. The Europeans, who are the American´s problematic but still major allies, have for years adopted a position that the Palestinians can do no wrong.

The US is tremendously pressured to improve its relations with the Arab world. And the Arabs clearly make as a condition for that the moving forward of the Palestinian agenda. Also, this term is ?it? for the Bush Administration. This means that they do not have to worry about domestic pro- Israel political pressure. It also means that the race to make a meaningful mark in history is great. And what could be a more meaningful mark than bringing ?peace? to the area of the world which many regard as most threatening to world peace as a whole?

There is another important element here which moves the Bush Administration in this direction. The present Israeli Administration under Ariel Sharon has shown that it does not stand up well to American pressure. It has made every effort to coordinate its position with that of the United States, including the accepting of a policy, the road- map, that is bound to be not simply detrimental, but extremely dangerous for Israel.

A Palestinian Arab state which controls its own borders will engage (as the Palestinians already do, but in a far more massive way) in the importing of weapons for war on Israel. It will with its open borders bring in hundreds of thousands of additional Arabs who will force the border with Israel, both legally and illegally. A Palestinian Arab state in the greatest part of Judaea and Samaria (the "West Bank") that is fully armed will have weapons which will be able to reach every strategic target in Israel.

Now once again it might be argued that the Bush Administration will not stand for and will not help in the creation of such an anti- Israel state. But the real point is that given the present Palestinian educational system and general attitude, the present backing from the Arab and Islamic world, there is no possibility that the Palestinians will abandon their repeatedly declared aim at destruction of Israel. They will no doubt make some tactical mutterings as Arafat himself learned to do, and say the word ´peace´ here and there. They will also take temporary tactical measures to seem to be complying with non-violence agreements but this all will be for show. It will once again be the familiar game of making temporary limited concessions in order to receive long-term durable goods, primarily parts of the land of Israel.

A Palestinian state given everything we know about Palestinian society now will necessary have as its major goal the replacement of the state of Israel. As a state it will have not simply the strength of recognition but that capacity to greatly augment its own military strength so as to be an increasing danger to Israel. The US might vaguely hope that by increased aid to the Palestinians it will gain their friendship. And in truth there might be less expressed hostility to the US if the aid flows freely to the Palestinians, and the Palestinians believe things are going their way. But a Palestinian state will still be far more allied to a radical Islamic world headed by Iran than it will be toward the United States. The creation of such a state will therefore not only undermine Israel (An undermining which in itself is a major defeat for the US) but will give strength to the anti-American, anti-democratic forces in the Middle East.

The United States of course believes that in bringing a two- state solution into being that it will alter the Palestinians´ attitude to Israel, and the United States. There is no evidence for this at all as yet, and there is not likely to be. If the United States does enable the creation of a Palestinian Arab state, it should know that at that moment it will have both betrayed and seriously undermined the existence of the one state in the area that has been its loyal friend for years. (© 2001-2005 Koret Communications Ltd. 02/03/05)


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