Friday, November 30, 2007

Annapolis: Mutual Respect...And Mutual Blame

From The Joint Understanding:
We express our determination to bring an end to bloodshed, suffering and decades of conflict between our peoples; to usher in a new era of peace, based on freedom, security, justice, dignity, respect and mutual recognition; to propagate a culture of peace and nonviolence; to confront terrorism and incitement, whether committed by Palestinians or Israelis.
Israelis no more commit acts of terrorism and incitement against Palestinian Arabs, than Abbas and his friends are likely to usher in that new era of "mutual recognition" that is mentioned in that same paragraph.

But of course, these days in diplomacy there is no wrong party--everyone is equally to blame, though Condoleezza Rice carries this a bit too far:

I know what its like to hear that you can't use a certain road or pass through a checkpoint because you are a Palestinian. I know what it is like to feel discriminated against and powerless," Rice told a closed meeting of Arab and Israeli representatives, according to the Dutch representative at the summit, Franz Timmermans.

"Like Israelis, I understand what it's like to go to sleep not knowing if you will be hurt in an explosion, the feeling of terror walking around your own neighborhood, or walking to your house of prayer," Timmermans quoted Rice as saying, the Washington Post reported.

Rice described her childhood in Birmingham, Alabama, during the era of segregation and the killing of four young girls in a bombing at a Baptist church in 1963. She reportedly said the bombing, which killed one of her classmates, helps her understand the fear of terrorism felt by Israelis.

When Rice says she knows "what its like to hear that you can't use a certain road or pass through a checkpoint because you are a Palestinian" is she saying that Israel's policy to protect itself from suicide bombers is profiling and racist? Don't give Hamas ideas.

Considering the extent to which the President Bush and his people have had to bend over backwards to make sure everyone is equally responsible, the White House chiropractor must have been working overtime this week.

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