NY Times misquotes, but Rice is still unreliable
Contrary to the way the New York Times reported the interview, Rice didn't say that it “cannot be Gaza only,” but instead claimed that this is what "everybody" has been saying. Had I known that the Times was quoting Rice out of context, I would not have written my piece the way I did. Having read the transcript, however, I think I still would have criticized Rice.I second that opinion. Mainly because it implies that she's saying this and that simple because "everyone is doing it too". But who exactly is "everyone" and what does she mean by it? Whoever she's taling about, it just makes her look plain silly.
And of course, she went along with more predictable double-talk. As Power Line points out:
She did say that "the Palestinian Authority is going to have to deal with the infrastructure of terrorism, that's one of its obligations." But she quickly added that "I'm not talking about a sequencing." I understand this to mean that Israel should continue to make concessions irrespective of whether the PA deals with the infrastructure of terrorism. So did the Times reporter, who then asked "what should Israel do right now, after Gaza?" Rice responded that "the Israelis will have certain obligations. . .about the continued freeing of Palestinian movement and conditions on the West Bank. That's one of the obligations. I think that we would hope that there is progress again on the Sharm agenda where the Israelis, if you remember, were handing over cities to the Palestinians." Then after her ambiguous, misreported statement about "everybody" saying "it cannot be Gaza only," she concluded that "everybody, I believe, understands that what we're trying to do is to create momentum toward reenergizing the roadmap and through that momentum toward the eventual establishment of a Palestinian state."I wouldn't be surprised if they weren't. Jewish Current Issues also has an entry on the subject. And if it's a really hard-hitting critique you're looking for, this article by Beth Goodtree on TheRaphi.Com certainly hits home.
I read Rice's statements as meaning that the U.S. expects Israel to make more concessions and that this expectation is not entirely contingent on what the Palestinians do. (Note that the U.S. can often influence what Israel does, but lacks a parallel capability with respect to the Palestinians, so that the meaningful pressure we exert tends to be on Israel only). If I'm right, Rice's actual remarks are not much better than her remarks as reported by the Times.
Update: as Jewish Current Issues reports now, this was quite a discussed topic this past week. Here are some more links on the subject from Neo-Neocon, The American Thinker, Boker Tov Boulder, Camera.Org, MassRight, MyFreePress.Com, Digital Irony, The Slippery Slope, List of Sicilian Messenger, Shooting the Messenger and Mere Rhetoric.