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Friday, May 16, 2008

Silence is golden

I had a cup of coffee this morning with a close friend who was in the Knesset yesterday afternoon for the Bush and Olmert speeches. Recall this from the account:
Not in the video: Prime Minister Ehud K. Olmert tells Bush 'future peace agreement based on your vision will be approved by this house and by the Israeli public.'
Here's what actually happened according to my friend. Somewhere in the middle of Olmert's speech, he made the remark I reported above. He told Bush that "a future peace agreement based on your vision will be approved by this house and by the Israeli public." Olmert stopped and waited for applause. And there was silence. Bush smiled slightly and Olmert repeated himself. And there was silence again.

Olmert gave up and moved on.

This can be given two interpretations. The right is opposed to the deal. The left doesn't believe it will ever happen.

Something else you didn't see on TV according to my friend was three Arab MK's holding protest signs when Bush entered the Knesset to speak. The Arabs were not pleased with the President's speech yesterday at all.
Speaking of the "promise of God" for a "homeland for the chosen people" in Israel, Bush told the Knesset after a visit to the Roman-era Jewish fortress at Masada: "Masada shall never fall again, and America will always stand with you."

He predicted the defeat of Islamist enemies Hamas, Hizbullah and al-Qaeda in a "battle of good and evil".

Letting Iran have nuclear weapons would be an "unforgivable betrayal of future generations", he said.

Bush described the "bonds of the Book" - faith in the Bible shared by Christians like himself and Jews - as bolstering an "unbreakable" alliance between Israel and the United States. During a later visit to the Israel Museum, Bush, referring to the old biblical texts housed at the building, said "these documents tell the story of a righteous God and his relationship with an ancient people."

"There is no doubt in my mind that the patriarchs of ancient Israel and the pioneers of modern Israel would marvel at the achievements of this nation," he said.

But while the president's speech garnered a standing ovation among most Israeli lawmakers, it grated Palestinian nerves already on edge as thousands gathered to commemorate the 'Nakba.' Though Bush, in speaking of what he hoped the next 60 years would look like, said he envisioned for the Palestinian people "the homeland they have long dreamed of and deserved" – many saw the gesture as far too modest compared to the towering praise heaped on Israel.

Hamas slammed Bush's words as those more suitable to "a priest or a rabbi" and said the president had delivered a "slap in the face" to those Palestinians who placed their hopes in him.

Palestinian political analyst Ali Jarbawi said Bush's rhetoric showed Washington was not being an honest broker: "He is not talking about a two-state solution. He is talking about a state of leftovers for the Palestinians," Jarbawi said.
Deep in his heart, I believe that President Bush loves this country. I still blame Condi and Bush Senior for all that has happened in the second term. Yesterday, we saw a flash of Bush's true feelings. I suspect we'll see more when he is no longer in office (just as we saw Dhimmi Carter's true feelings - against Israel - much more after he was no longer in office).

Finally, I found the picture below amusing. From left to right, we have Prime Minister Ehud K. Olmert, President Bush, Knesset speaker Dalia Itzik and President Shimon Peres. Note that Bush seems to be flirting with Itzik. That's what's amusing. Itzik speaks almost no English. Hope Laura wasn't jealous.


At 3:00 PM, Blogger Whaty What? said...

better caption:
'Bush and Itzik snickering at Olmert, while he tries to quiet them down.'


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