IsraPundit

WE'VE MOVED! IsraPundit has relocated to www.israpundit.com. Click here to go there now.
News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

December 06, 2002

Elliot Abrams, Mr Rice Guy

Back to the Bush's "vision" speech of June. Sharon's recent speech also embraced these concepts and not the hated "road map".
SOMETIMES the Washington
presscorps reports a story, but entirely misses its significance. This was the case with last week's naming of Elliott Abrams to the position of senior director for Near East and North African affairs on the National Security Council staff at the White House. The job makes Abrams a major player in setting policy on Israel and the Palestinians. And Abrams's view of the right policy is quite different--more pro-Israel, less solicitous of Palestinians--from that of Secretary of State Colin Powell and the permanent cast of characters at the State Department.

Abrams's job is to make certain that the conditions and guidelines laid down by President Bush in his speech last June 24 are not watered down or ignored by the Powell forces.

The appointment of Abrams, 54, is an important statement by national security adviser Condoleezza Rice--and by Bush--that the White House will not cede control of Middle East policy to Powell.

At the moment, the White House plans to implement the Bush guidelines from his speech last June. Among these are the easing aside of Arafat, the end of Palestinian terrorism against Israel, and reform of the Palestinian Authority.

Joseph Alexander Norland can relax. All is not lost.