Thursday, 29 May 2003

Same Old Shellgame

What Sharon Wants, Sharon Gets

The Israeli cabinet's highly qualified acceptance on Sunday of the "roadmap" to peace between Israel and the Palestinians is likely to mean the final derailment of this latest in a line of misbegotten peace plans. Just a random sampling of the Sunday morning talk shows demonstrates why this perverse reality is so.

Reacting to the Israeli cabinet's twelve-seven vote (with four abstentions) in favor of the roadmap, but taking no note of the crippling preconditions imposed on Israel's adherence to the peace plan, Fox News Sunday host Tony Snow asked Senator Joseph Lieberman if he did not agree that the Bush administration should now ignore the other members of the Quartet altogether (the others being the European Union, the UN, and Russia) and go ahead with the roadmap in whatever way the administration saw fit; the U.S. should simply assert its prerogative as principal peace broker. "Well, yes," Lieberman responded, in a tone implying that the answer was so obvious the question need not have been asked. The Israelis mistrust the rest of the Quartet, Lieberman observed, and if we expect Israel to make peace we have to accommodate its concerns.

Period. Whatever Sharon wants Sharon gets.

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