Thursday, May 26, 2005

It is a Shame, but it is all a Sham

This is the decision that was not adopted yesterday:“The government of Israel announces its full and unconditional support for the Road Map and agrees to implement it.”

The government decision that was adopted yesterday is replete with loop holes, conditions and reservations. This decision can serve as a source for endless debates as to its meaning, and if the need arises, it will provide a lot of work for lawyers. As a matter of act, nothing of any real importance happened yesterday in the meeting of the Israeli cabinet. Sharon can now say that he adopted his version of the road map. Bush can issue a statement about a ‘positive step’.

One can only remark about the deepness of the need of so many honest and sincere people to believe that maybe, perhaps, possibly there is some basis for hope and optimism. No one can blame them. Even so, it is strange that this need can still be satisfied by the strutting and empty words of prominent people in air conditioned offices. We have seen too many comings and goings and press conferences and endless reams of commentary on too many occasions to allow ourselves to believe – in the absence of real forward movement on the ground – that something important has really happened.

This government cannot and will not make any real concessions regarding settlements or even illegal outposts. Meanwhile, this is the only thing happening: Before, during and after yesterday’s cabinet session, Sharon is supplying his friend and ally, George W. Bush, with a bit of space for a public relations campaign featuring Bush, the renowned warrior, in his new role as peace maker. Watch Bush get a lot of international spin out of totally ambiguous statement by Sharon to the Israeli cabinet.What is amazing is how this game is played out with absolutely nothing positive happening on the ground. To the contrary, Israel, pursuing ‘security interests and fighting terror’ continues to make life hell for more than three and half million people under occupation. Sharon and his ultra right partners continue to slither and to blather. So far, nothing else is happening.