Saturday, March 26, 2005

Roadmap to Peace...

Yesterday, the BBC ran an article with the headline US will accept Israel settlements. Indeed, the text of the article seems to support the headline with Dan Kurtzer, the U.S. Ambassador to Israel, making the following claim:

"US policy is the support that the president has given for the retention by Israel of major Israeli population centres [in the West Bank] as an outcome of negotiations."

I didn't think that statement sounded quite right as it appeared in conflict with the spirit of the Bush Administration's Roadmap to Peace, if not the letter. It's entirely possible that Israel could retain such settlements as a result of negotiations with Palestinians, but my observations of the President's statements and policies in this matter have led me to believe that Israeli retention of the settlements in the West Bank are optional to this administration.

Today, I find this NYT/WP news service article with the headline U.S. ire grows over Israel's plan to expand settlement. Here again, the text of the article supports the headline with no less than Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice condemning the plan as "at odds with American policy."

Given the Bush Administration's track record on this issue and the fact that one Secretary of State beats any number of U.S. Ambassadors, I think the latter story is probably going to be closer to reflecting the reality of American policy towards the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.


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