Wednesday, February 16, 2005

The Presumptive Ariel (Three Bs) Sharon

Ariel Sharon works on presumptions.

Yesterday, he held a press conference for the resident foreign media and insisted that his agreement on Gaza with President Bush at the White House last April provided assurances that Israel would be able to keep some of its large blocks of settlements in the West Bank.

He also insisted that it was his understanding that the United States supported Israel in limiting a right of return for Palestinian refugees to a future Palestinian state.

But the NYTimes's editorial brought him back to political reality.

Entitled "Mr. Sharon and the Settlers"
the editorial zeroed in on three "B"s.

Mr. Sharon has been pragmatic and bold, the paper wrote, "pragmatic in recognizing that
a vast majority of Israelis don't think that hanging on to Gaza is worth the bloodshed; bold
in standing up to the extremists who view Gaza as their birthright, despite the Palestinian majority living there now."

But it is. Even the League of Nations thought so. Jews lived there for centuries. Gaza is part of the historic Land of Israel. What, do we yield to those Dagonite Philistines?

The paper noted that Israel's vice prime minister, Ehud Olmert, put the choice facing Israel starkly. "One cannot help but see that we are dealing with a Palestinian leadership which speaks differently, and, it would appear, also acts differently," he said, referring to Mr. Abbas. "We shall never forgive ourselves if we don't give a chance to a leadership which says it is opposed to terrorism."

The paper insists that "those settlements are also one of the largest barriers to any possibility of peace. "

Birthright - no; Bolder (aka more surrenders) - ; Barriers (certainly).

Mahmud Abbas may seem to be reining in his terrorist supporters but I fear that Sharon is much too presumptive.

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