The Day That Bush Took Gaza

(Washington Post) Martin Indyk - Sharon's disengagement plan declares that it will "obviate the claims about Israel with regard to its responsibility for the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip." But who's going to take over that responsibility? Not the tattered Palestinian Authority. Not cautious Egypt, which once ruled Gaza. Instead, de facto responsibility for what happens in Gaza will fall to the U.S. That's the hidden meaning in the president's letter of assurance to Sharon saying that the U.S. will lead an international effort to build the capacity and will of Palestinian institutions to fight terrorism and prevent the areas from which Israel withdraws from posing a threat. Having trumpeted his support for an independent Palestinian state, Bush is now taking on responsibility for ensuring that the Gaza mini-state created by Israel's withdrawal does not turn into a failed terrorist state. If hooded Hamas terrorists end up dancing on the rooftops of Gaza settlements or indoctrinating Palestinian children in the former classrooms of Israeli settlers, Bush will be fielding the questions instead of Sharon.

2004-04-28 00:00:00

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