Condi Rice Face Saving Efforts In Middle East!

The Bush adminsitration is in the process of completing eight years in office during which there have been repeated attempts to create the foundation of peace between Israel and the Palestinians. No sooner had Secetary of State Rice left Israel last week, then the Olmert government began preparatory construction work on thousands of settler units in the occupied West Bank. The new settlement expansion includes 600 units to be built on confiscated Arab land in East Jerusalem and 800 in an ultra-orthodox settlement in the West Bank. The settler expansion drive on the West Bank flies in the face of American efforts to stablish a viable Palestinian state. Olmert insists “this is going on within the framework of negotiations and theneotiations will continue to progress.”

Saeb Erekat, a Palestinian Authority negotiator, does not agree with the Israel leader that such construction is in accord with the framework for peace. “Yesterday, they said they would stop building and today they say they will be building thousands of settler units on occupied Palestinijan land. This can’t go on and on. This development is changing the situation on the ground for the worse. Israel is simply not sincere about peace.”

Secretary Rice makes general comments about the peace process which she believes is proceeding according to prior agreements. “We want to be much more systematic about what is promised and what is actually carried out.” Palestinian leaders believe there will be some sort of face saving statement about the peace process when President Bush arrives in Israel next month. After all, the president will be out of office in a few months and the next president will have to handle the mess he has left. In the meantime, expect a nice comforting statement from Rice how peace is proceeding according to the Bush plan.

  • mendy lewin

    fred face the reality: illegal building has been a known reality but on the other side of the table!
    yes, palestinians have been building illegally on land bought by the JNF which has used jewish money for over a century to buy land in israel for jews.
    now the reality is peace process dont change facts on the grounds.
    facts are withdrawal are a mistake that push for more violence and help radicals
    facts are jewish citizens in their own capital need housing because they have kids and growing families.
    facts are the big ”settlements” will stay with israel and everybody agrees with that (obviously ”everybody” means more a consensus;unanimity is all but impossible in the middle east) and they too are growing because they have kids and newlyweds that wanna move close to their parents.
    the difference today? yesterday the politics believed the problem was with settlements and ”land occupation” now after gaza pullout they realize it is not and that instead of destroying it’s own country and expelling its best citizens they’d better create facts that defend the israelis interests and do their best with the palestinians from that point on not the other way around.
    after all they are elected by israelis in israel not by palestinians in the west bank. mahmoud abbas never worried about the lack of affordable housing in jerusalem as far as i know…..

  • Fred Stopsky

    There was an agreemen to halt West Bank settlements. I have no idea what you mean by Arabs “building illegally on land bought by the JNF.” Your statement makes no sense. Peace requires both sides to compromise and adhere to agreements.