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Tuesday, April 13, 2004

New York Times Editorial:

"A withdrawal from Gaza must start a process, not end it"

. . . But Mr. Sharon's idea of unilateral withdrawal is not really unilateral. In exchange, he wants the United States to give him a free hand in the West Bank. His plan includes dismantling some token settlements in that area and that would be it ? the end of the process, with Israel's security wall as the final border.

This is something the United States cannot endorse. A dramatic Israeli pullout in Gaza would be a welcome election-year counterbalance to the chaos in Iraq, and the Israeli leader will undoubtedly argue that without an American quid pro quo, Israelis are unlikely to support the Gaza withdrawal in the referendum that Mr. Sharon has promised to hold. But yesterday in Crawford, Tex., Mr. Bush heard counterarguments from President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, and he will hear them from Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain and the Palestinian foreign minister, Nabil Shaath, who are also coming to Washington soon.

While there is no effective Palestinian Authority to deal with right now, ultimately there can be no realistic substitute for a negotiated settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. That will never happen without Israeli withdrawal of most of its settlements. The United States cannot allow Mr. Sharon to maneuver it into sanctioning an indefinite Israeli occupation of the West Bank.

No wonder Jessie doesn't read the NY Times! (Todah)

NOW LET ME GET THIS STRAIGHT, there can be no "substitute for a negotiated settlement." Never mind that the Palestinian terrorists won't negotiate, that's just because "there is no effective Palestinian Authority to deal with right now." But it's just around the corner, I'm sure. Lots of moderates to choose from. Maybe in the next Palestinian election....

And there will be no negotiated settlement without "Israeli withdrawal of most of its settlements." Hmmm, why is that? Oh yeah, the Arabs don't want Jews around them. They won't sink so low as to accept territory that has nasty Jews (make that nasty settler Jews) living in it, breathing in it, soiling the atmosphere with their Yiddishkeit. Any territory they accept must be Jew-free (can you say "ethnic cleansing"?) - and the New York Times agrees. This is all just because the Arabs want it.

The Jews want to stop getting murdered, but who cares about that? Certainly not the Arabs nor the New York Times. What Jews want is not important. Look, put the two concerns on a scale: Arabs don't want Jews around vs. Jews don't want to be killed. What is the more weighty issue? the more urgent? what are the moral implications of each?

What's that? Oh yes, your scale (and your compass) are broken. That's too bad.

UPDATE: This editorial is mentioned in an article at Arutz Sheva: "U.S. Officials Not Forthcoming for Sharon"
Difficulties in formulating the exact extent of American support for Sharon's positions even led to a several-hour delay in his departure for the U.S. last night. A senior Israeli official explained his consternation with Sharon to the Maariv daily, saying, "It would have been better if we requested things that the US is able to provide. The Americans will not be able to provide the requested political declarations regarding annexation of settlements."

Contrary to Sharon's hopes, it appears that the two leaders will not hold a joint press conference after their meeting, but will rather suffice with "diplomatic statements."

That's pretty offensive, eh? especially given that Bush just shared a press conference with Mubarak after their meetings. C'mon, W, don't let us down....