Bush Has a Plan for Palestine

(International Herald Tribune) Aaron David Miller - President George W. Bush has developed a no-lose secret weapon that he hopes to deploy by the end of his administration: a Palestinian state with provisional borders. If it works, the administration will rightly gain credit for a major breakthrough; if it doesn't, the administration will blame the Palestinians for missing yet another opportunity. In the administration's strategy, Gaza is by no means the end of the story. A Palestinian state with provisional borders would be comprised of Gaza and significant areas of the West Bank from which Israel will be prepared to withdraw, deferring issues such as Jerusalem and refugees for future negotiations. The appointment of Lt.-Gen. William Ward and James Wolfensohn as special U.S. envoys for Palestinian security and economic matters highlights the importance to the White House of building institutions for such an interim state, rather than focusing primarily on resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. And of course Sharon's own view on territory, which would preclude anything close to the June 1967 lines, will impose a simple reality: A state with provisional borders is all the Palestinians will get, at least for now.

2005-09-02 00:00:00

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