Thursday, November 29, 2007

Natan Sharansky: Annapolis May Be A Catastrophe For Israel

Natan Sharansky is someone whom President Bush has personally honored and spent a lot of face time with, and Sharansky's views views on freedom have inspired the President own views on spreading democracy in the Middle East, by the president's own admission.

But Sharansky, interviewed yesterday on Annapolis said that it "has nothing to do with promoting democracy," and warned that Israel will be lucky if it does not end in catastrophe.

When asked, Sharansky said he did not feel betrayed by Mr. Bush, whom he referreed a friend. But he said, "I am upset. The greatness of President Bush is the way he would believe in the power of the idea of freedom," Mr. Sharansky said. "He believes in principles; he was willing to stand alone against all for these pressures, but it is not enough to stand for principles. He has to appoint the people who share these beliefs and who would implement them. He has not."

It's fairly obvious he has Condi Rice and some of the minions at the State Department in mind.

Back in 2002, Sharansky and Mr. Bush were on the same page... that the US should focus on building a Palestinian Arab civil society and the institutions necessary for transparent, democratic rule before trying to create a state, which is exactly what the President told the Palestinians in his famous June 24th speech, when he first endorsed the idea of supporting a Palestinian state - unless th ePalestinians lived up to their committments and foreswore terrorism, the US would not support their aspirations.

Those high minded principles are gone with the wind,apparently, as the President has bought into the Saudi peace ultimatum.

The idea, apparently,is that the Sunni Arab autocracies like the Saudis and their European enablers need to be bought off to support action against Israel's expense.

That's exactly what Condi Rice and James Baker have been working on for the past year, and in Ehud Olmert, the weakest most corrupt and ineffectual Israeli leader in history, they have exactly the tool they need for the job.

Sharansky, to his credit, sees through this fallacy immediately.He said he thought it was ridiculous to bribe the European and the Arabs to do what is in their interest anyway by pushing Israelinto a corner.

"Fighting against a nuclear Iran, it is not a favor to Israel — it must be, it has to be the top priority in America," he said. "If America is believed to be promoting democracy, it has to be the top priority of the free world and not a favor to Israel. To think that countries like Saudi Arabia will be more cooperative in the struggle against Iran if there will be more success in building democratic societies in Palestine is ridiculous. Iran is a bigger threat to Saudi Arabia than it is Israel. The second greatest threat to Saudi Arabia is any democracy in the Arab world. A democratic Iraq is a great threat to them. They will never be an ally promoting any democratic alternatives in the Middle East."

Iran's Ahmadinejad, of course, saw Annapolis as a major victory and crowed that Israel is `doomed to collapse.'

Sharansky also questioned the US reliance on Mahmoud Abbas. "You have one force, Hamas, that does not recognize Israel, which is not going to recognize Israel, and {is going to} fight Israel. The other force, which is our so-called partner, accepted by everybody, it doesn't represent anyone, has no power, and cannot influence anything."

Actually,Sharansky may be slightly wrong there. After Israel is pushed into indefensible borders and the soul of the nation is ripped apart by giving up half of Jerusalem and turning a substantial portion of its population into refugees, Hamas and Fatah will have a reconciliation,which the Saudis and Iran are already working on. They will then cooperate and begin the next war on Israel's civilians,perhaps in coordination with Hezbollah. Or Hamas will simply put Abbas out of the way and take over the Palestinian occupied areas of Judea and Samaria,(the West Bank) just as they did in Gaza and begin the war,with all the shiny new weaponry supplied by the US to Abbas and Fatah.

Catastrophe may be putting it mildly.

Another thing that bothered Sharansky was Bush and the European nation's neutrality on the Arab's outright refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

It's obvious why the Arabs refused...they intend to make the area known to us as Israel Jew free if they can, just as they have with the rest of the Middle East.

But why President Bush and the Europeans consented to go along with the Arabs refusal is another question, and not a pleasant one to ask.

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