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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

June 06, 2003

Sharon's Big Bet

Liked by some and loathed by others, Sharon's approach to the Road is here evaluated by New York Post writer Eric Fettmann
[...] Sharon, recall, vowed that he wouldn't be forced back to full-scale negotiations under fire - and he wasn't. Moreover, alone among Israeli leaders since 1993, he has not handed over any territory to the Palestinians (save for areas briefly re-occupied by Israel after terrorist attacks).

Critically, Bush is the first U.S. president to finally understand Sharon's longtime insistence that Yasser Arafat is incapable of delivering anything resembling peace and an end to terrorism.

Indeed, Bush did not interfere as Sharon moved to physically isolate the PLO leader - though, despite his absence from yesterday's event, he remains a troubling factor, determined to resist and undercut his own prime minister.

Sharon, of course, promises that he is not making concessions on anything but a bilateral basis - that, absent the end of terrorism, Israel will move no further. Yes, Israeli leaders have said that before - but not in the presence of a U.S. president who vows "to hold people to their commitments."

Sharon, in short, is pinning his hopes on a new Palestinian leadership and on Bush. The two men have forged the closest ever relationship between an Israeli prime minister and an American president - and this president is delivering more than lip service to the battle against terrorism. [more]