Thursday, February 22, 2007

A kind word for Condoleezza

By Aluf Benn - Ha'aretz

People who spoke to United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during her visit this week were impressed by her determination to invest the remainder of her tenure in promoting a "two-state solution" for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The triple handshake she produced with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, which was reminiscent of the old peace ceremonies at the White House, says something about the magnitude of her aspirations. Like her predecessors, Rice has been captivated by the strange enchantment of Middle Eastern diplomacy, and according to her acquaintances she too is frustrated by the abyss that gapes between the obvious solution and the tremendous difficulty of achieving it.

There is no doubt that Rice has personal, political and strategic interests in her frequent trips to the Middle East. She wants an achievement that can be chalked up to her credit. It's good for her to get away from the troubles in Iraq and to appear as a peacemaker at a time when her colleagues in the administration are busy with war. She has to show that she is doing something for the Palestinians, in order to placate Saudi Arabia and Egypt and harness them to the front against Iran. And even though she does not talk about this in public, she sees putting an end to the occupation and the establishment of a Palestinian state as a moral imperative. In closed conversations, Rice has used imagery from the racist American South where she grew up.
Read this article...

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