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Achronot. "Not today. America is tired,
neutered and torn."
In Barnea's view, the message this
sends to Iran is that it can go ahead
with its hegemonic ambitions and
nuclear weapons program without
"Deterrence is gone he wrote. "This
is bad for the moderates — Egypt,
Jordan and especially Israel."
Gilboa sees a parallel between
Lebanon and Iraq. He maintains the
United States in Iraq had hoped that
toppling Saddam Hussein would deter
But for all his cruelty, Saddam
helped contain Iran. Taking him out
enabled Iran to emerge much stronger
"The same kind of thing happened
in Lebanon:' Gilboa told JTA. "They
thought that after forcing the Syrians
out they would get a more democratic
Lebanon. But the opposite occurred.
Forcing Syria out left Iran and
Hezbollah much stronger."
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Mh A Holm. B
The Hebrew Benevolent Society
(Chesed Shel Emes)
MEMORIAL DAY SERVICES
Sunday, May 27 at 12:15 p.m.
at theVeterans Section of their cemetery
HEBREW MEMORIAL PARK
Gratiot Avenue at 14 Mile Road
with the participation of
Jewish War Veterans Dept. of Michigan and Ladies Auxiliary.
Families, Relatives and Friends are invited to attend.
J.W.V. Dept. Commander
J.W. V.A. President
May 22 • 2008
said. "So they are keeping ties with
Tehran open, which makes it much
more difficult for the U.S. to isolate
Bush on his visit also made no
tangible progress on the Israeli-
Palestinian track, which is supposed to
help unify Arab moderates.
After a meeting with Palestinian
Authority President Mahmoud Abbas
in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-
Sheik, Bush said Abbas was "absolutely
committed" to reaching a peace deal
by the end of the year.
"It breaks my heart to see the vast
potential of the Palestinian people
really wasted:' Bush declared. "They're
good, smart, capable people that when
given a chance will build a thriving
But Palestinians pointed to
discrepancies between word and
deed,complaining that Bush is not
doing anything substantial to bring
a homeland for them. As examples,
Palestinians point out that Bush
has not appointed a special Middle
Iran's Nuclear Threat
East envoy or presented U.S. bridg-
Israeli officials are still hopeful that
ing proposals to resolve differences
the United States will play a leading
between Israel and the Palestinian
role in preventing Iran from produc-
ing nuclear weapons. They say they
Moreover, Bush's remarks in Sharm
showed Bush new intelligence on Iran's el-Sheik on the need for stronger
nuclear program and came away with
democracy in the Middle East did
the impression that the U.S. leader
not help unify the moderate camp.
means business on Iran.
They also were seen as a pointed barb
But given the short time left in the
against his Egyptian hosts.
Bush presidency, the unpopularity in
"Too often in the Middle East,
the United States of waging war with
politics has consisted of one leader in
Iran and Bush's own tentative reaction power and the opposition in jail," Bush
to questions last week about contain-
ing Iran's assumed nuclear ambitions,
The president's strong words of sup-
the pundits are skeptical.
port for Israel in his Knesset speech
"I think what definitely will be done angered the Palestinians, with chief
is a structure on how to deal with
Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat
this, to try to resolve it diplomatically;' labeling the address "a missed oppor-
Bush offered last week. He followed
those remarks with a speech in the
"Bush should have told the Israelis
Knesset declaring that for the sake of
that no people can be free at the
peace, the world must not allow Iran
expense of another;' he said.
to have a nuclear weapon.
For its part, the Israeli administra-
Israeli analysts interpreted this
tion was pleased by Bush's warm
to mean that Bush would leave the
words on the occasion of its 60th
Iranian problem to his successor and
anniversary and his unqualified com-
the international community.
mitment to its survival.
The perceived weakness of U.S.
But many Israelis, including some
policy on Iran has led to a degree of
left-wing politicians and commenta-
ambivalence among moderate Arabs,
tors, complained about Bush's failure
especially in the Persian Gulf, where
to pressure the parties to do more to
Iran is a threatening presence to near- achieve his vision of a two-state solu-
by Arab states.
"They lack confidence in America's
They argue that a more nuanced
ability to deal with Iran, and they fear
U.S. role, which pressures Israel as
that under a new administration the
well as the Palestinians, might better
U.S. will withdraw from Iraq and leave serve Israeli interests and those of the
them facing Iran on their own: Gilboa Middle East as a whole. ❑