Saturday, May 28, 2005

Mr.Bush, don't be decieved

Like a lot of pro-Israelis under, I have been slightly worried about the direction that President Bush seems to be going in the Middle East peace process. He recently invited Abu Mazen to Washington, where in a joint press conference he made many specific demands on Israel, throwing in a request for Palestine to "democratise" just to seem fair. People have been asking Palestine to "democratise" for years - what we need is concrete demands, something that can be monitored, so that the International Community can be sure that changes are being made. Some possibilities are: the free practice of religion for non-muslims in Palestine, improvement of school standards or better public services, for example.

Bush seems totally unaware (or maybe he is aware?) that he is going back on and ignoring all the principles of his own doctrine. And you know what the official excuse has been? "The United States has not changed its position toward Israel" (U.S. National Security Council Spokesman). This is great diplomat speak isn't it? For "Our position hasn't changed" read "we are continuing our last position under Clinton". Yes, we have different men on all sides, different demands and different things being said, but that mentality is still there.

A good way of explaining this situation would be to just take a look at Natan Sharansky. He recently wrote a book called "The case for Democracy" which was basically a heartfelt, principled defence of the Bush Doctrine from the views of a former Soviet dissident who had made his dreams come true and was now defending his beloved Israel. Sharansky defends the Bush Doctrine in his book, and President Bush admits he is a fan of Sharansky. He openly praised Sharansky's book and has "openly acknowledged" the influence on his inaugural and State of the Union addresses.

And the situation now? Sharansky resigned from Sharon's government in disgust at the Road Map and the Disengagment - policies that Bush praises and gives legitimacy to by his support of Sharon. So who has changed? Can it be Sharansky, a man that hasn't changed his record since his political activism against Brezhnev landed him in a Soviet jail all those years ago? I don't think so.

In a recent press conference, Bush throws the book at Israel - i'd probably need a second check to make sure he didn't ask it to solve world hunger or colonise Mars in a week. And his demands to Abu Mazen? Bush made only vague, general statements about the need to fight terror.... Bush did not make any specific demands of Abbas at the press conference regarding the need to fight terror, merely stating that "all who engage in terror are the enemies of a Palestinian state, and must be held to account." Gee, gosh, I think terrorists are the enemy too - can I have a state please? No, Instead, he praised Abbas for his stance on terror, saying: "The United States and the international community applaud your rejection of terrorism." Rejection of terrorism? Did I dream up all those Yasem rocket attacks? Did those attempted car bombings not happen? have people stopped taking to the streets to proclaim death to Israel and death to America and proceed to burn their flags?

OK, thats my opinion on the matter - and I'm worried. If you want, you can dismiss me as 'idealistic', or 'far right' - but remember, that was how Bush used to be insulted too.

Also worth reading: Utter Betrayal from blog 'Israpundit'


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