“Israel’s plan seems to be two-pronged. First, withdraw the settlers from Gaza. (Last month, Ariel Sharon, the prime minister, won the last battle against the withdrawal in Israel’s parliament by defeating a referendum vote and a rebellion against the budget.) Second, surround the main West Bank settlements with the barrier and build so many Jewish homes there that giving them back to any future Palestinian state would be impractical.”
When George W. Bush meets Sharon this week at his ranch in Texas, the Israeli leader will explain how the Palestinian Authority is falling apart and breaching former agreements. Unspoken, once again, and likely to receive no public US rebuke, is Israel’s continuing expansion of settlements in the West Bank, contrary to international law and the supposed Road Map to Peace. So who is serious about peace?