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.
And, sure as rain, Israelis will be forced into yet more concessions: Elder of Ziyon looks at the map.
The sad fact is that Annapolis is sideshow to a larger battle that has to be won before anything appropriate in the way of peace negotiations can take place between Israel and her Arab enemies. Yesterday, while everyone was focusing on Annapolis, Lieutenant General Lute, Mr. Bush’s “tsar” for the Battle of Iraq, quietly announced, as our Nicholas Wapshott reported yesterday, that the administration and the Iraqis are about to commence talks on withdrawing American troops in advance of the end of the U.N. mandate in 2008. The important, the most urgent battle in the coming seasons will be securing the victory that our GIs have been crafting in on the battlefield there and advancing the spread of democracy in the neighboring lands. What peace can be established between Israel and her neighbors while a regime exists in Iran to stoke the arsenals of the terrorists in Gaza and Lebanon, the latter of which, our Benny Avni reported earlier in the week, is the more logical place for Annapolis to focus. Messrs. Bush and Olmert are, sadly, the only players on the Middle Eastern battlefield with the kind of credentials — democratic credentials — that really matter.
Over in Saudi Arabia, the authorities have released more than 1,500 reformed extremists who underwent counseling.