Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Contributed by Lucia
By Jeff Halper
(The writer is the coordinator of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions)
"......SO WHAT is the problem? The missing piece, the crucial document that subverts any viable two-state solution, a factor in Israel's strategic considerations mentioned by Olmert as an aside only a few days ago, is Bush's letter of April, 2004, to then-prime minister Ariel Sharon. This little-noticed document fundamentally changed the parameters of what is to be discussed in any "peace process" and what Israel's obligations are under the road map. It is considered by the Israeli government as perhaps the most crucial element in its effort to retain the major settlement blocs and in that way foreclosing the possibility of a viable Palestinian state.
The essence of the Bush letter, which was subsequently ratified by the House of Representatives by a vote of 407-9 and by the Senate by 95-1, is the following passage: "In light of new realities on the ground, including already existing major Israeli populations centers, it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949."
In one seemingly innocuous sentence, President Bush fatally but knowingly undermined UN Resolution 242, the very basis of the two-state solution since 1967 and of his own road map initiative, by nullifying the requirement that Israel return to the Green Line (with agreed-upon adjustments) so that a viable Palestinian state might emerge......."