Har Homa is a settlement the United States has opposed from the very beginning.
says she. How dare she! How dare this ignorant woman presume to dictate where Israel may and may not build homes for its people! How dare she insist upon a Judenrein wasteland surrounding whatever she believes should be the final claustrophobic defenseless borders of Israel. That is, of course, what her blitherings inevitably point to. Not clear enough?
Ahmed Abdel Rahman, a top aide to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, said the PA would reiterate during Bush's visit its demand for a full Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 borders, including east Jerusalem.
"There will never be real peace unless Israel accepts the two-state solution," he said. "This means a full withdrawal from all the territories occupied in 1967. But Israel is working toward building a state for the settlers in the West Bank. Israel is also working toward changing the Arab and Islamic character of Jerusalem."
/Excuse me ... the what?? Never mind. Another post./
Abdel Rahman said "the Palestinian security forces would not provide security to the settlers and settlements in the West Bank. All the settlements are illegal, and the settlers have no place in Palestinian territories."
The PA official said Israelis were deceiving themselves by thinking that the Palestinians would accept the presence of settlements in the West Bank.
"We will never accept one settler or occupation soldier on our lands," he stressed.
There's no ambiguity there. Not one settler. Not one soldier. Not one Jew. Crystal clear. We get it. We've always gotten it. And, when they're done, not one settler, not one soldier, not one Jew between the river and the sea. It's the only "peace" they'll ever settle for. But Condi Rice doesn't get it. She doesn't want to get it.
Neither does Olmert.
Rice, with her comments, went further than US officials have previously gone toward clarifying the US position on east Jerusalem. Her comments not only seemed to set the stage for a confrontation over the issue during the Bush meetings, but also stood in sharp contrast to what Olmert has said he believes is the US position on the matter.
Olmert, in an interview with the Post last week, said that when Bush thought of an overall Israel-Palestinian agreement, he had in mind an accord based on the 1967 borders "plus."
"He's the only president who has ever said that," Olmert said. "His reference is '67-plus. And that's an amazing achievement for Israel."
Rice's reference to Har Homa as a settlement, however, seemed to belie that belief.
Ah, yes. The disengagement fairy tale. That famous April 14, 2004, letter that so many Sharon supporters insisted would guarantee Israel could retain its most established communities in Judea and Samaria in return for throwing several thousand Jews under the train.
As part of a final peace settlement, Israel must have secure and recognized borders, which should emerge from negotiations between the parties in accordance with UNSC Resolutions 242 and 338. In light of new realities on the ground, including already existing major Israeli populations centers, it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949, and all previous efforts to negotiate a two-state solution have reached the same conclusion. It is realistic to expect that any final status agreement will only be achieved on the basis of mutually agreed changes that reflect these realities.
Well, I confess I was fooled as well. I thought the scam would continue through the end of Bush's term. It appears I was wrong.
As an American, I'm utterly appalled by the faithless behavior of my government. As a loyal citizen of this country who reluctantly voted for George W. Bush in 2004 (considering the alternative -- and, God help me, I'd do it again), I still remember the man who assured us that he said what he meant and he meant what he said. He had a lot of people fooled.