The Bush Doctrine Lives
...Mr. Bush has not backtracked an inch from his revolutionary Middle East policy. Never before has any American president placed the onus of demonstrating a commitment to peace so emphatically on Palestinian shoulders. Though Mr. Bush insisted that Israel refrain from further settlement expansion and remove unauthorized outposts, the bulk of his demands were directed at the Palestinians.
"The Palestinian people must decide that they want a future of decency and hope," he said, "not a future of terror and death. They must match their words denouncing terror with action to combat terror."
According to Mr. Bush, the Palestinians can only achieve statehood by first stopping all attacks against Israel, freeing captured Israeli Cpl. Gilad Shalit, and ridding the Palestinian Authority of corruption. They must also detach themselves from the invidious influence of Syria and Iran: "Nothing less is acceptable."
Comment from me - so why even promise them a conference now? Just ask them to do all this and then we'll talk diplomacy, movement, etc?
In addition to the prerequisites stipulated for the Palestinians, Mr. Bush set unprecedented conditions for Arab participation in peace efforts. He exhorted Arab leaders to emulate "peacemakers like Anwar Sadat and King Hussein of Jordan" by ending anti-Semitic incitement in their media and dropping the fiction of Israel's non-existence.
Comment from me - oh, really. I didn't know they had stopped anti-Semitic propaganda. Did they?
Most momentous, however, was Mr. Bush's affirmation that "the United States will never abandon . . . the security of Israel as a Jewish state and homeland for the Jewish people." This means nothing less than the rejection of the Palestinians' immutable demand for the resettlement of millions of refugees and their descendents in Israel. America is now officially dedicated to upholding Israel's Jewish majority and preventing its transformation into a de facto Palestinian state.
Comment from me - (sorry for the repetition) oh, really? The security of Israel is ipso facto threatened not only by the "right of return", which Bush didn't explicitly mention [does he have a problem with that or, due to his concept of democracy, Israel may yet hear a future American President say 'sorry, folks, but democracy means your Jewish state can be voted out of existence not by "refugees" but by intenral demographics], but by the establishment of a Palestinian state.
Unfortunately, many of these pioneering components in Mr. Bush's speech were either implicitly or obliquely stated, and one might have wished for a more unequivocal message, such as that conveyed in his June 2002 speech on the Middle East.
Comment from me - ah, Michael, so what I have been saying is apparent even to you?