President Bush arrived in Israel where he was warmly greeted by President Peres and welcomed by President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority. The American president once again referred to his desire to “guarantee Israel’s security as a Jewish state” despite the fact at least ten percent of its population is not Jewish, but Muslim. In Gaza, militants marched denouncing talks between Israel and Palestine and there apparently were al-Qaeda elements among those waving weapons. Even a Fatah leader in Gaza, Zakariya al-Agha, contradicted Abbas the head of Fatah, by denouncing Bush for supporting Israel. On the other side of the ledger, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, spiritual leader of Shas, urged his followers not to support peace talks until the Palestinians cease firing rockets onto Israel territory.
The object of having peace talks is to prevent rockets from firing since despite years of military efforts to wipe out rocket launching sites, they continue coming into Israel. It is also unfortunate that President Bush did not acknowledge the presence or importance of Israeli Arabs by making his mistaken comment that Israel was a “Jewish state.” That was never a concept one finds as a prominent point among those who forged creation of the nation of Israel.