February 03, 2005

The Holy Land

The beginnings of reform and democracy in the Palestinian territories are showing the power of freedom to break old patterns of violence and failure. Tomorrow morning, Secretary of State Rice departs on a trip that will take her to Israel and the West Bank for meetings with Prime Minister Sharon and President Abbas. She will discuss with them how we and our friends can help the Palestinian people end terror and build the institutions of a peaceful, independent democratic state. To promote this democracy, I will ask Congress for 350 million dollars to support Palestinian political, economic, and security reforms. The goal of two democratic states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace is within reach - and America will help them achieve that goal.

Within reach. Good. A signal he thinks an Israeli-Palestinian peace can be consummated in 2007 or 2008. The 350MM to the PA is a smart move too. How much did Saudi Arabia, say, give Ramallah last year? Money buys influence, as we all know. But, more important, it also shows that, as Palestine democratizes and gets its security services under unified command (and pursues maximal efforts to rein in Hamas and Jihad Islami operatives) America will stand by her. Good. For us. And for Israel. Bolstering moderates is the only way to make forward progress there. Bush did that tonight quite effectively (350MM was also the amount donated for the tsunami disaster, no?)

Oh, and a very public send off to Condi! Good luck to her...

Posted by Gregory at February 3, 2005 03:56 AM | TrackBack (7)

"The 350MM to the PA is a smart move too. How much did Saudi Arabia, say, give Ramallah last year? Money buys influence, as we all know."

Depends on how it is used, no?

Posted by: praktike at February 3, 2005 02:16 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

If money buys so much influence, how come the US cannot influence the Saudis into opening the oil spigots so that the barrel price of oil lurches DOWN to the $38 target the Saudis mentioned only months before the 2004 election? How come the Egyptians, who receive more aid from the US than any country other than Israel, are still allowing weapons smuggling from Egypt to Gaza and printing virulent anti-Semitic and anti-US rubbish in the government-censored print media?

Money buys influence if used to do so -- if it is a reward (Egypt) or bribe (Saudi, PA) it buys whatever the briber wants to sell. The way to INFLUENCE with money is to ensure the influenced party realizes that it won't receive any more if its behavior doesn't change.

Posted by: The Monk at February 3, 2005 09:10 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Wish I could be optimistic that an Israeli-Palestinian peace is anywhere at hand. Given the success of Hamas, who are openly and totally committed to Israel's destruction, in local elections in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, the horrible anti-Semitic smears being broadcast non-stop in the Arabic World, including Egypt, and in Western Europe as well, what is going on now is only a hudna or period of rest as the Arabs call it. A time of negotiations designed to extract as many concessions as possible from Israel. As soon as these two conditions, Palestinians recovering their strength and extracted maximun concessions from Israel there will another wave of terror directed against the Jewish state.

Posted by: David All at February 3, 2005 11:55 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink
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