Weekly Commentary: Bush soft on Palestinian security compliance - approach
disservice to all
Aaron Lerner Date: 20 October 2005
To Mahmoud Abbas' credit, from the very first day he recognized that when it
comes to the Palestinians, the Bush team isn't really serious about security
compliance. That the White House is more interested in the melody than the
That's why Abbas can consistently say flat out that he has no intention to
confront the illegal armed militias and it doesn't matter.
That's why Abbas could make it perfectly clear - as he stood next to
President Bush in the White House today - that he has no intention to
collect weapons before the elections.
And that's why Abbas can repeatedly explain that, at best, his idea of "one
gun" is that ultimately all the terrorists generously agree to be on the PA's
Sure, Mr. Bush talks the talk about the need for the Palestinians to fight
terror - but his carefully crafted remarks, wrapped in praise for Abbas, are
bereft of any clear timetable or measurable standards for action.
This is nothing new.
A few weeks ago Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice responded to a question
at Princeton University about America being soft on Hamas with a carefully
crafted statement that was not only soft on Hamas but soft on Palestinian
terror in general.
Instead of calling on the Palestinian Authority to immediately disarm the
terrorists, Rice showed understanding for this taking an open-ended period
of time. "There are periods of time of transition in which one has to give
some space to the participants, in this case the Palestinians, to begin to
come to a new national compact. Eventually", the Secretary of State
explained, they have to be disarmed.
Paradoxically, rather than help Abbas, Mr. Bush is sending a message to the
Palestinian street that there isn't any genuine pressure for the PA to take
serious steps against the terror infrastructure.
The deleterious absence of pressure from Washington on the Palestinian
leadership isn't limited to security matters. The PLO could readily inject
hundreds of millions of dollars from its "war chest" today to alleviate the
situation in the Gaza Strip rather than hold out for contributions, but
instead Washington acts as if Arafat took the PLO's holdings with him to his
This shortsighted approach is a disservice to the Palestinians, Israel and
the entire region.
Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)
(Mail POB 982 Kfar Sava)
Tel 972-9-7604719/Fax 972-3-7255730
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