Don't Push Sharon Too Far, Mr. President

(Jerusalem Post) Yosef Goell - Release of prisoners at this stage was not part of the original road map agreement. But there is possibly room for adding the prisoner issue to the package as part of a reciprocal deal. Let's try proposing the release of additional prisoners, even from Hamas and Islamic Jihad, for a price: 100 Kalashnikov assault rifles, 10 Kassam rockets, or one rocket launcher for each prisoner. That would be a better guarantee than any signed promise of released prisoners not returning to their terrorist practices. As a democratically elected leader Bush must understand that the democratically elected Ariel Sharon simply cannot concede on an issue like the security fence that has become a matter of widespread popular consensus. There is certainly room for negotiating details, but the basic principle of a separating security fence that will make possible the safe withdrawal of the Israel army from major Palestinian cities is non-negotiable. If anything, the proposed barrier urgently needs extending eastward along the slopes of the Jordan Rift Valley, the idea being to encircle the entire West Bank on the coastal side (west) as well as the east or Jordan Rift Valley side.

2003-07-28 00:00:00

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