Are we blocking an Israeli withdrawal from Gaza until after the November election?
This is the last graf in an article running on the Associated Press wire ...
Earlier this week, Dov Weisglass, a senior Sharon aide, discussed the proposed withdrawal with top U.S. officials. The Maariv daily said Friday that Weisglass was told the Bush administration would not like to see a withdrawal before the U.S. election because of concerns of growing instability in Gaza. However, Sharon adviser Assaf Shariv said Friday that no dates for a possible withdrawal were raised during the meetings with U.S. officials.
A couple points. I'm pretty sure <$Ad$>there's no English language edition of Maariv
. So I'd really be curious to find out precisely what this article in Maariv
said, not just this clipped reference.
Secondly, there are a host of legitimate issues about how this disengagement might take place -- not least of which is whether it's done unilaterally or through some sort of bilateral agreement. So there are various reasons we might want them to hold their horses. One might even speculate that the Israelis are using supposed US domestic political concerns as an excuse to delay action in Gaza.
But if the administration is pushing back turmoil in the Middle East to game the election, we should know more about that. Late Update
: This article
in the Israeli daily Haaretz
adds credence to the conclusion that that is precisely what's happening.
Here are two key grafs from the Haaretz
Also Friday, security sources said that, bowing to White House pressure Israel intends to wait until after the U.S. presidential election in November before uprooting the Jewish settlements in Gaza.
The security sources said Sharon recognized the Bush administration's concern that implementing his unilateral pullout plan during the U.S. campaign could cause political problems by fuelling instability in Palestinian areas.
This should get more attention in the American press.