You won’t find any major Zionist leaders acknowledging the disastrous Bush legacy for Israel – after all, they see their role as little more than rubber-stamping Israeli brutality against the Palestinians – but leading Haaretz commentator Akiva Eldar speaks the truth:
Heavy clouds will float over today’s summit in sunny Sharm el-Sheikh. The Muslim Brotherhood in Gaza, Jordan and Egypt will be hovering above the four leaders participating in the talks, as will the zealots of worldwide jihad. Iran and Hezbollah will be with them on the other side, while the extreme right-wing national religious camp awaits in the corner. It is hard to say which of the leaders’ chairs is shakiest and to guess where the next evil will come from – from Syria, which once again has remained on the outside; from Al-Qaida, which is rearing its head in Iraq and casting its eye on the horizon; or from the Egyptian opposition, which smells weakness in the leadership and is amassing power in anticipation of the inheritance battle.
And who isn’t coming to this sad party? The United States, the superpower with the lion’s share of responsibility for the deteriorating situation in the Middle East. Who stayed home? President George W. Bush, the one whose semi-hallucinatory dream of democratization has become a genuine reality of anarchy; whose adopted vision of two states – Israel and Palestine – has become during his tenure a distant dream. It is difficult to think of an American president who has caused more damage to Israeli interests than the president who is considered one of the friendliest to Israel of all time. No leader has done more than Bush – by commission as well as omission – to destroy the Palestinian Authority under Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas.
It was Bush who imposed the wretched elections on the Palestinians, despite Hamas’ refusal to fulfill the terms of the Oslo II Accords concerning the participation of political parties in the democratic process. Bush gave his blessing to sacrificing the road map on the altar of unilateral disengagement, an act of charity toward the Palestinian “refusal front” and a death blow to the already damaged peace camp.