Jewish Current Issues
Hillel Halkin believes that President Bush’s visit to Israel starting tomorrow will be an “Operetta in Two Acts:”
In Act One, the president will meet with Prime Minister Olmert in Jerusalem, where he will be told of Israel’s determination to conduct successful peace talks with the Palestinians, to remove illegal outposts, and to ease up on military checkpoints, and where he will in turn assure the prime minister that America is behind him.
In Act Two, Mr. Bush will meet with President Abbas of Palestine in Ramallah, where he will be told of the Palestinian Authority’s determination to conduct successful peace talks with Israel, to crack down on terror, and to put European and American foreign aid to productive use, and where he will in turn assure Mr. Abbas that America is behind him.
Then Mr. Bush will reboard Air Force One and fly on to the next stop of his Middle East tour while most illegal outposts and Israeli military checkpoints stay where they are, no real crackdown on terror takes place, foreign aid to the Palestinians is frittered away by a corrupt bureaucracy, and Israeli-Palestinian peace talks go nowhere in the course of the next year.
Anne Lieberman has an eloquent post on why the settlements are not “obstacles to peace.” In the June 2002 issue of COMMENTARY, Hillel Halkin wrote an article entitled “Why the Settlements Should Stay,” which set forth at greater length what Anne has captured in her heartfelt post: a process intended to create a new Judenrein state is not a “peace” process.