The election season and the primaries, along with all the polling and speculation have taken some of the spotlight from a development which may lead to another military engagement. For the first time in his Presidency George W. Bush has visited Israel and some things he said there are worth listening to.
In Ramallah on Thursday Bush has promised support for the Palestinians and announced a peace treaty within a year from now, a Palestinian state would indeed be possible. He bolstered this with his assertion that the US are increasingly critical of the Israeli settlements politics and see the settlements as a crucial obstacle to said peace treaty.
Israel is historically security-conscious to say the least. Being peppered by rockets from neighboring countries on an almost daily basis and the rethoric of extremist politicians like the Iranian president Ahmadinejad don’t help to allay their fears. The Israeli settlements as well as the fence are part of a national security policy, or are at least called such.
So, in order to change the US position on the settlements, the United States will have to offer something in exchange, to up the security issue for Israel. The Israelis deal with Syria by themselves as proven by the still somewhat mysterious air strikes last fall. Israel, will not or cannot, deal with Iran by itself, to get Israel’s concessions on the settlements, the US will have to give them – Iran? Continue reading