From: Subject: Date: April 21, 2005 3:53:51 PM CDT Hankblog

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

More Middle East fun

Billmon at Whiskey Bar has a very informative post on Bush's press conference today with Ariel Sharon. It's a very informative read, if very scary.

This is a shameful capitulation. As the Reuters story notes, the statement overturns in one stroke almost 40 years of official U.S. policy -- a policy Shrub's father actually showed a fair amount of political courage in defending. For decades, Israeli leaders (Likud and Labor alike) have worked to create those "new realities on the ground" -- as the statement, with the usual neocon arrogance, describes them -- through illegal land expropriations, relentless discrimination against Palestinian landowners, and lavish government subsidies for Jewish settlers. And for decades, the U.S. government has refused to accept Israel's bully boy tactics, despite the relentless, continuous efforts of the pro-Israel lobby in Washington.

That's gone now -- and probably for good, as I'll explain in a moment. Today's statement essentially guts the road map (itself a largely gutless process) by deleting the essential principle that the final status of the territories will not be determined by unilateral action on either side (which in the real world, means on the Israeli side.) It also negates the fundamental premise of UN Resolution 242 -- the bedrock of all peace efforts over the past 40 years -- that territory will not be acquired by force.

There's more. Read on.