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January 10, 2003 - Image 32

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-01-10

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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from page 30

promoted by the diplomatic "Quartet"
of the United Nations, the European
Union, Russia and the United States.
In order to maintain their participation
in his war coalition, Bush has had to go
along with this European mania and has
even made the creation of a Palestinian
state part of his postwar vision. The dif-
ference is, as laid out in his June 24
Middle East policy speech, Bush insists
such a state must not only renounce ter-
ror but be democratic as well.
Bush has rightly insisted on holding
off a public announcement of the
terms of the road map until after
Israel's Jan. 28 elections. But whenever
these terms are published, they spell
disaster for Israel. The document,
which is nonetheless being openly cir-
culated, calls for Israel to make drastic
concessions to the Palestinians that
will lead to a sovereign Palestinian
state, whether or not the Palestinians
do anything about terror.
While the very idea of a Palestinian
state was once enough to bring Israel's
American friends to the barricades and
create enormous pressure on Washing-
ton, that is no longer the case.
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon
will do everything possible not to say
"no" to Bush on the eve of war with
Iraq. Even most of the nationalist
camp in Israel has finally acknowl-
edged that the terrorist entity created
by the Oslo process is already a state
in everything but name.
Sharon has made it clear that Israel's
goal in future negotiations is to ensure
that the Palestinian state that is fated
to eventually emerge poses a minimal
threat to Israel's security even if Bush's
provisions are met. That is a reasonable
position that only the hardest of hard-
liners publicly oppose here or in Israel.
But the question isn't what Sharon
will do. Rather, it is whether after Jan.

ALPERT

from page 31
Bishara and Abdulmalik Dehamshe.
One Arab leader, Sari Nusseibeh,
considered by many as a relative mod-
erate, has called upon his people to
refrain from inflammatory statements,
which will serve only to drive the
Jewish voters into the arms of their
extreme right wing parties. Any major
acts of terror in the coming weeks will
have the same effect.
A formal protest has been registered,
demanding that one of the Arab parties
be barred from participating in the
elections on the grounds that it advo-

28 Bush will continue to insist on his
vision of a democratic and peaceful
Palestine or, instead, go along with the
Europeans. At that point, we are going
to find out if Bush means what he says
about democracy without terror being
not an option for the Palestinians but
a prerequisite for statehood.

Insisting On Democracy

Many on the left see Bush's democracy
talk as simply a formula for avoiding
pressure on Israel. Some on the right are
so scared by talk of a Palestinian state
that they fear Bush will betray Israel.
I think they are both wrong.
After two years in power, I think it is
abundantly clear that when the president
articulates a principle he seems to mean
what he says. No matter what the road
map says, that means the "Quartet" is
bound to be disappointed by a Bush insis-
tence on Arafat's ouster, an end to terror
and the institution of genuine democracy
before there is a Palestinian state.
And if a failure to achieve those goals
means that a Palestinian state is not in
the offing, then the Europeans and the
U.N. will have to like it or lump it.
The same is true of Iraq. I believe the
president isn't kidding about not letting
a post-Saddam Iraq become just anoth-
er Arab authoritarian regime. And if he
achieves that goal, then all Arab tyran-
nies --- including those that currently
pretend to be American allies — are
bound to change as well.
This is heady stuff, and perhaps I'm
just dreaming along with the White
House and the Pentagon about its feasi-
bility. But it is only out of such dreams
that positive change is possible.
After watching him in action for two
years, I'm starting to believe that his
spinmasters are right. Bush really does
think good policy is good politics.
If so, then his critics should be pre-
pared for more unpleasant surprises. [I]

cares armed terror against the Jews and
even negates the very existence of
Israel. A decision is due almost any day.
The latest public opinion poll, con-
ducted at the University of Haifa,
finds that 70.8 percent of the Arabs
may be expected to go to the polls
and will send nine Arabs to the
Knesset from the Arab political par-
ties. These will probably be joined by
three additional Arabs running on the
slates of Jewish parties.
All outstanding questions will be
answered when the ballots are counted
on Jan. 28.



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