Security and Skepticism for Bush in Ramallah

[Wall Street Journal] Joseph Schuman - It is a fairly safe bet that no arm of the U.S. government was more anxious Thursday than the Secret Service, with President Bush traveling to the West Bank under the nominal protection of the Palestinian security forces. While Mr. Bush said he's ready to push both sides to compromise, there were signs his sentiments lie closer to those of the Israelis. CNN reports that White House aides upset the Palestinians by forcing them to change the room where Bush and Abbas would meet because a picture of Arafat hung on one of its walls. Asked by a journalist about Israeli checkpoints, Bush expressed sympathy for such Palestinian hardships, but then emphasized that Israel can only live beside a state that doesn't threaten it. To the Palestinians, Bush said in blunt and simple terms: "Do you want this state? Or do you want the status quo? Do you want a future based upon a democratic state? Or do you want the same old stuff?"

2008-01-11 01:00:00

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