Across the Bay

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Breakthrough for Rami Khoury! Well, not quite...

In a rare, albeit incomplete, departure from his usual riffraff, The Daily Star's Rami Khoury actually had the decency to concede that the content of the plan that Bush endorsed during the last visit by Israel's Ariel Sharon to the US, does not in fact depart from the Clinton outline:

"A close reading of the American text of April 14 reveals that Bush merely stated in public and gave official US support to long-standing assumptions that are universally held among those who are involved in, or closely follow, Palestinian-Israeli negotiations: (a) that only a symbolic return of some Palestinian refugees to Israel proper would occur, while the majority would repatriate or settle elsewhere and receive compensatory economic and political rights that would be negotiated by them and acceptable to them, and would affirm relevant international law and UN resolutions; and (b) the large Israeli settlement towns along the former border between Israel and the West Bank, such as Maale Adumim, Ariel and Givat Zeev, would be permanently incorporated into Israel, in exchange for territory of equal value that Israel would cede to the new Palestinian state. These assumptions were first articulated in the parameters that President Clinton issued in late 2000, after the failure of the Camp David negotiations (parameters which Israeli and Palestinian leaders accepted, with some reservations)."

However, after stating this fact, Khoury reverts to his usual nonsense, essentially blaming the US for the Arabs' incompetence and pathology:

"There is a very small likelihood of success for the Sharon unilateral withdrawal plan and its support by Washington. This is mainly because Palestinians, Arabs and most other people around the world interpret this development as a reaffirmation of long-standing Israeli colonial designs to retain much of the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem, and also of relatively recent American neo-colonial tendencies that are most evident in aggressive US policies in Iraq and Palestine. The actual text is not very decisive on this argument. It will be interpreted in different ways, according to the reader's preconceived perceptions of the US as either a noble or a predatory actor in the Middle East."

I'm still not sure what the "aggressive neo-colonial" US policy in Palestine is!