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Saturday, July 30, 2005 

Israel's friends in Washington are against withdrawal from Gaza, but what do they think of their own premier's standing?

One Jerusalem talks about how some of Israel's strongest supporters in the US Congress are rightfully opposed to withdrawal from Gaza:
I have heard from several Israeli leaders that Israel's strongest supporters in Congress are expressing vigorous opposition to the retreat from Gaza. Senators and Congressmen, who happen to be in leadership positions, are reluctant to support any aid to Israel related to the retreat. They believe that Israel is endangering itself with this policy and that it is a setback to the global war on terror.

One lawmaker said, "Doesn't Israel understand that this pull-out is rewarding terrorism, encouraging the sworn enemies of the United States and the Free World."
A better question, however, is if Dubya and Condi understand any of this. As this topic here from the Yourish blog shows, plus this report from Haaretz (H/T: Low Earth Orbit), she is pretty much following in the footsteps of her predecessor, Colin Powell:
In public, Condi was all smiles. But in private, she showed herself to be one tough cookie, full of demands on Israel. "She ticked us all off," said an insider. "The chutzpah of that woman. The way she totally ignored Sharon's critical problems at home. The way she twisted our arm and said we had to make all kinds of concessions and gestures to strengthen Abu Mazen."

This time, Rice's demands did not go through the Weissglas filtering system. There was no sugar to sweeten the pill or make it easier to swallow. There was no beating around the bush. Israel, she said, must supply the Palestinian Authority with weapons and ammunition. It must speed up the lines at checkpoints. It must be nice to Abu Mazen's buddies and allow them to operate. As if the missiles and the Qassam rockets fired at Israeli towns every day were our doing. As if the chairman of the PA deserves some kind of compensation.

One participant said Rice spoke like a teacher scolding her students. She demanded that Israel exercise restraint in responding to terror and let Abu Mazen fight Hamas, lest all of Gaza fall into its clutches. As if Israel were standing in his way. When she visited the Palestinians, she praised Abu Mazen's leadership abilities and his "war on terror." In Israel, she went on about how weak and frail he is, and urged us to strengthen him. As if Israel were Leader Remodeling Inc.
As the Yourish blog says:
Facts like these leave me no other conclusion: The Bush Administration does not include palestinian terrorists in the war on terror.

So. How is this president any different from his predecessor in that regard?
Simply put, he isn't.

That's exactly why Congress members are going to have to bear in mind that if they want to have any real influence on a subject like this, then they're going to have to start taking the president and his administration to task, regardless of what party they're a part of.

Likewise, even world commentators and bloggers are going to have to start to understand that only if they voice genuine disagreement towards any particular policy of the US government, regardless of their political standings, will they have any influence and impact on the subject of defending the US and Israel, among other democracies.

So that's why, if you're a politician or a commentator or even a blogger, then, if you're against the policy that Ariel Sharon is advocating, you're going to have to start taking a clear stance against even the Bush administration's own positions, in order to make it clear that you do not approve of what Dubya is doing, which is as damaging to the US, as well as to Israel.

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  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
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