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Friday, May 23, 2003
Update: Text of Sharon & Powell Rice statement [black day]

Update: Text of Sharon & Powell Rice statement [black day]

#1 23 May 2003

Statement by Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and National Security
Advisor Condoleezza Rice
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/05/20030523.html

The roadmap was presented to the Government of Israel with a request from
the President that it respond with contributions to this document to advance
true peace. The United States Government received a response from the
Government of Israel, explaining its significant concerns about the roadmap.

The United States shares the view of the Government of Israel that these are
real concerns, and will address them fully and seriously in the
implementation of the roadmap to fulfill the President's vision of June 24,
2002.

#2 STATEMENT FROM PM SHARON'S BUREAU
(Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser)
Friday, May 23, 2003 5:46 PM

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's Bureau has, today (Friday), 23.5.2003,
released the following statement:

"In view of the recent statement of the US regarding the Israeli comments on
the Roadmap, which shares the view of the Government of Israel that these
are real concerns and in view of the US promise to address those concerns
fully and seriously in the implementation of the Roadmap to fulfill the
President's vision of 24.6.2002, we are prepared to accept the steps set out
in the Roadmap. I intend to submit this acceptance to the Government of
Israel's approval."

++++
This amorphous fig leaf solution is sheer madness.

This American statement isn't a solution. It is another problem. A source
for future American-Israeli friction.

What does it mean to "address them fully and seriously in the implementation
of the roadmap"? This when the roadmap itself is not being changed?

Would anyone commit to a defective contract based on the assurance that even
though the written text is dangerously defective that when the contract is
implements that the problems will be address?

How can they be addressed when the text calls for one thing and "addressing"
these problem means doing something completely differently?

Washington has already been bending over backwards to ignore the failure of
the Arafat-Mazen government to meet expectations. More of the same can be
expected in the future.

Prime Minister Sharon's statement after the announcement indicates a serious
failure in his team to think beyond the next 24 hours.

It should be noted that the "response from the Government of Israel,
explaining its significant concerns about the roadmap" is not in the public
record. A third party - concerned Israeli citizens - have no way of even
establishing if what happens in the future does or doesn't address these
problems since it can always be claimed that newspaper reports regarding
Israel's concerns were no accurate.

If the wording of the statement was coordinated with Sharon the
ramifications are even more serious. It indicates that the true "enemy" of
both Bush and Sharon is the Israeli public, hence the move to try and strip
it of its ability to effectively monitor and criticize implementation.

Today is a black mark on American Israeli relations and a black mark on
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

The question remains if the ministers who make up his cabinet have the will
to put the interest of the nation over personal considerations and stop this
madness. This is particularly challenging for ministers who see themselves
only a conviction away from the prime minister's slot (unlike other Israeli
politicians who tried to separate themselves from illegal fundraising
activity, Sharon relied on his sons and developed a paper trail that even
the most political attorney general can ignore for long).

To date no vote has been held on this matter by the Cabinet in point of
fact, no official discussion has been held by the Cabinet of the roadmap.

Under the law, each minister bears responsibility for the decisions of the
Government.

We will see this Sunday if the ministers have the intestinal fortitude to
act on that responsibility.

Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)
(mail POB 982 Kfar Sava)
Tel 972-9-7604719/Fax 972-3-7255730
INTERNET ADDRESS: imra@netvision.net.il
pager 03-6106666 subscriber 4811
Website: http://www.imra.org.il

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