I can hardly wait for this woman to go home:
“The distance to that peace has been narrowed, although the peace has not yet been achieved,” [Secretary of State Condoleezza] Rice said in a joint news conference with [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud] Abbas. “We knew … that if that agreement was not reached by the end of the year, that there would be those who would say that the Annapolis process, the negotiations, had failed.”
“In fact, it is quite the opposite. The Annapolis process has laid the foundations for the eventual establishment of the state of Palestine,” she said. “The Annapolis process … is vital, it is vibrant, and it is continuing, and I am quite certain that carried to its conclusion, it will produce a state of Palestine.” — Jerusalem Post
Revealing, isn’t it. Rice seems to equate “the…establishment of the state of Palestine” with ‘peace’. But nothing could be further from the truth. While the Palestinian leadership — both Fatah and Hamas — does not accept the continued existence of the Jewish state and officially supports ‘resistance’ (i.e., terrorism) against it, then the establishment of a Palestinian state would be premature, to say the least.
But since 2006, the Bush Administration’s goal has been to produce a Palestinian state as soon as possible — and then worry about peace (or not). Since I’m convinced that this is not President Bush’s personal view, I have to conclude the policy in this area is directed by the traditionally Arabist State Department and other influential elements.
Now that Barack Obama will be taking over, we can speculate whether the highly rational Obama will reject the irrational position that Palestinian sovereignty can precede an end to violent rejection of Israel.
It’s probable that he will more than have his hands full with economic issues for at least the first six months of his presidency. If this leads to neglect of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it’s probably just as well. If on the other hand he gives the State Department a free hand, we can expect the present policy of pressuring Israel for concessions to continue.
The worst-case scenario will be if Obama and his Secretary of State accept and act on the left-wing and European ‘line’ that the entire cause of the conflict is ‘the occupation’ and ‘settlement activity’.
It is imperative that we present the case that the pressure should not be on Israel to make concessions to hostile Palestinians, but rather on the Palestinians to accept the legitimacy of the Jewish state of Israel.