April 26, 2004

Bush's Gaza Problem

"These chickens will come home to roost in early May, when the president convenes a meeting of "the Quartet" (the United States, the EU, the United Nations and Russia) to seek their tangible support for the Gaza initiative. What he is likely to discover then is that his partners will demand their own letter of U.S. assurance as recompense for their involvement. King Abdullah of Jordan, who will be meeting with the president in early May, has already opened the bidding in this regard. And Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak can be counted on to add to these demands.

Since Bush has already opened the final status issues by assuring the Israelis about borders and refugees, backers of the Palestinians can now demand elaboration of the U.S. positions on other final status issues. They will ask questions such as: If the United States is ready to recognize border adjustments for Israeli "population centers" in the West Bank, will it also endorse "territorial compensation" for the Palestinians?

Then Bush will confront his ultimate political dilemma: In an election year, can he afford to water down his support for Israel for the sake of ensuring the international involvement that he needs in order to prevent a failed terrorist state from emerging?

Welcome to Gaza, Mr. President."

Martin Indyk, asking some difficult questions in the WaPo.

Meanwhile, don't miss discussion here and here on Israel's assassination policy.

And Saeb Erekat asks: "(w)hy did Bush take my job"?

Posted by Gregory at April 26, 2004 11:02 AM
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