In pure political terms PM Sharon has certainly pulled off the “play of the month.” If an election were held today, it appears that the momentum and excitement are on his side and he would be victorious.
Four months can be a lifetime in politics and history has shown that the initial buzz usually wears off in time. Sharon really doesn’t care if his party is around in four years. He is determined to be the PM who created the final boundaries of the State as well as a state of normalcy with its Palestinian neighbors.
The obvious problem is not in his intentions,which seem to encompass a united indivisible Jerusalem,and the major settlement blocs with Maale Adumim connected to Jerusalem (E-1).Rather it the fact that the Europeans ,and the Americans as well as the UN and surely the Arab world are not prepared to accept a Palestinian State without a divided Jerusalem. Nor do we see any diminution in incitement and terror attempts. The battle between Islam and the Palestinians with Israel is primarily one that deals not with territory, but rather is existential in nature. Nothing to date has changed that perception.
The reality appears that despite Mr Sharon’s tough talk and his relationship with President Bush,we see no evidence that when push comes to shove he is able to withstand American pressure.The recent Rice-Mofaz talks on the border crossings. found Israel yielding on major security issues. There is no reason to believe that even further major withdrawals from the settlements would soften world opposition to Israel on Jerusalem. In addition, while President Bush has articulated that the so-called “right of return” of Palestinians can only be to Palestine and not Israel, we must be mindful that probable final stage negotiations(if they ever occur-and there is disarmament of the terror groups) would more than likely take place under the aegis of a new American administration post Bush. Who would predict what new pressures would be placed on Israel by a new President.? American policy under every President has never accepted Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem (to wit the American consulate in Jerusalem for the arabs,and the embassy in Tel Aviv).
In the meantime, there is a new spirit in Labor and bedlam in Likud. It will certainly be an interesting period between now and the induction of a new government.
I am totally confused as to the silence of Orthodox leaders to the talks and proclamations of Reform President Eric Yoffe
I was asked why I was certain that WMD were in Syria when no one talks about it. I should have really said that prior to the American invasion there were reportedly massive truck movements from Baghdad to Damascus .Gold ,dollars, elements of the WMD research program were speculated on.
I asked Ambassador John Bolton at a small meeting in his Waldorf suite-before he became UN Ambassador whether the weapons we were looking for could be in Syria. ?
Since I received a non-committal answer, my personal suspicions were raised.
In truth I have no independent knowledge, and I misspoke.