Scott Johnson had an important post yesterday at Power Line (“When Words Lose Their Meaning”), about President Bush’s suddenly “inoperative” standards for dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
In announcing the international conference in July, Bush said attendance would be limited to those who rejected violence and recognized
In Johnson's words, the President ended up “speaking gibberish” (with his paeans to the “many gifts and talents” the Palestinians were “blessed” with, and their desire to “build a better future” with “dignity” and “justice and equality”). Anne Lieberman, at the indispensable BtB, noted the striking lack of any comparable rhetoric about
[Bush] went [on] to recite a litany of attacks the Israeli people want ended – rockets, suicide bombings, assault. Well, yeah.
My point here is that when speaking of the Israelis, there were no words like
“freedom” . . .
And most deeply offensive of all, there was no word “future.”
She also noted the observation of JINSA that the rhetoric of the American-dictated “joint understanding” not only minimized Israel’s sacrifices and the reasons for the “occupation,” but also “ignores Arab responsibility for the problem that ‘Palestine’ is meant to address; and minimizes the damage to Israel of 60 years of Arab wars, rejection and terrorism.”
The presidential address also failed to acknowledge that Israel, committed under Phase I of the Roadmap only to dismantle certain settlement “outposts” and to “freeze” settlement activity, had already exceeded that obligation by dismantling 25 complete settlements, in both Gaza and the West Bank, and had received only rockets in return.
The pandering presidential rhetoric, to a room filled largely with Arabs (and third-party countries who could care less), effectively excused the Palestinians for their failure to dismantle even a single terrorist organization in the nearly five years since they promised to do so (they simply “recommitted” to doing it again), much less control the “military wing” of the Palestinian representative sitting with the president, which had murdered another Israeli father just the week before.
Now that the Palestinians have recommitted (for the third time), the
At one time, President Bush was known for being a president who said what he meant and meant what he said. When asked what President Bush meant when he said that an Iranian nuclear weapon was “unacceptable,” John Bolton used to say that it meant it was “unacceptable.” These days,
As Johnson noted in his post, it “can’t be good for the