Following his meeting with President Bush, Sharon returned to Tel Aviv happy and reassured. No one pressed him to implement international resolutions, despite their scantiness. Sharon’s mission enjoyed unexpected success. President Bush on his part reiterated his opposition to settlement expansion, without referring to Sharon’s response which rejects putting a halt to expansion.
Instead, President Bush emphasized that the return to the borders of the truce of 1949 was unrealistic (meaning it was realistic for the Palestinians to accept the status quo, which is that Israel will annex large parts of the West Bank.) President Bush focused on the rebuilding of the Gaza Strip, on economic development, and his approval to grant Israel the huge funding Sharon requested to develop the Negev and the Galilee to reinstall the settlers who will evacuate their colonies in the Gaza strip -” only 3,700 settlers in total. The former director of the World Bank, James Wolfenson, was appointed coordinator for the economic situation in the Gaza Strip.
Sharon has succeeded in misleading the American administration, while the Arab countries have again succeeded in proving their lack of knowledge with of what goes on in Washington, the results of the interaction and interrelation of power groups there, and how to influence the American decision-making Washington in the light of those interactions.
The Israeli internal "pressure" trick which Sharon has used (not to say engineered) worked on the American administration. Washington fell for the trick in the absence of the other side of the equation -” the Arab pressure to influence the American decision-making.
Sharon played the role of the weak one before Bush and asked him for support instead of exerting pressure on him in light of the stiff opposition he is facing within the Likud and from the settlers.
President Bush sympathized with him and promised support, in order to see the Gaza disengagement implemented.
Bush promise of support to Sharon includes the following:
First: Not to exert pressure on him to implement the road map quickly (in order to give Sharon a chance to annex as much as he wants from the lands of the West Bank.)
Second: Grant Israel all it requests in terms of aid for the rebuilding of the Negev and the Galilee in order to take in the settlers and build new military bases (as if the Gaza Strip is the Sinai desert). The amount comes to 15 billion dollars.
Third: Aid Israel with modern military technology, especially in the field of mighty missiles, work and coordinate together to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear technology, and continue to exert pressure on Syria so it enflame internally and have the internal conflict rage to overthrow the regime.
In addition to these three promises, President Bush will, based on the agreement reached in Texas, carry out gestures supportive of Sharon, including exerting pressure on Syria to hand over the remains of Israel’s spy Cohen (buried there), considering the release of the Israeli American Polard who was sentenced to life in prison ten years ago, and exerting pressure on Egypt and Jordan to increase the pace of economic cooperation.
Those who do not know what goes on in Washington lose the compass of dealing with the American administration. The current American administration, in its second term, is affected to a great extent by the positions of the major economic cartels, especially the oil cartels. These cartels are willing to respond to the modest political demands of Arab countries.
Those who do not know that the influence of the neoconservatives in Washington has receded to a great extent cannot use this fact to activate other parties capable of influencing official US decision-making. Therefore the US administration feels that it is free of, and far from, any Arab pressure, or that it is not obliged to exert pressure on Israel at the moment.
The decline of the influence of the neoconservatives is a decline for the influence of Zionism in the United States. This matter appears to be difficult to comprehend by many Arab countries, which still live under the illusion of the influence of Zionism in the US and its ability to influence state decision-making.
The time has come for these countries to know that the influence of Zionism has declined greatly, and that the American positions being drafted are aimed at serving best interests of the US (and that the US is using all its ties and positions for the service of these interests), and naturally the interests of the major economic cartels in the US that have major interests in the Middle East (such as the oil and military industry cartels).
The Arab countries did not provide President Bush with a winning card, the "Arab pressure" card, to use against Sharon’s card, internal Israeli pressure. Therefore, Bush made do with repeating the position unilaterally without Sharon acknowledging it and approving it.
As the best interests of the US require moving forward in the withdrawal from Gaza, and waiting for the right moment to tie that with the implementation of the road map, Bush gave Sharon the money he wanted, agreed not to exert pressure, and agreed to the drawing up of new borders that do not have any connection to the borders of the 1949 truce.
Sharon returned happy and free to expand Maale Adummim, and draw up a new plan for the separation from the West Bank following the separation from Gaza.
With this Sharon wants to create a new reality, one which President Bush will comment on by saying that there is a new reality in the West Bank that cannot be ignored, if the Arabs do not make a move.
Green Jerusalem, a name given to an area of land much greater than the area of Greater Jerusalem, is Sharon’s first plan in the West Bank. According to this plan Jerusalem will extend eastwards to the Dead Sea, northwards to the borders of Al-Bireh, westwards to the monastery of Al-Latron, and southwards to Bethlehem.
According to Sharon’s plan the valleys and roads leading to them will remain under Israeli control, and Sharon will annex the following:
1). The major settlements, which are those that were built by force on the mountains Sharon calls strategic. That will include four major colonialist blocks that will swallow 42% of the wast bank. Jerusalem, hebron, in the south areel in the north and latron in the west .
2). All lands consumed by the annexation wall.
3). Vast areas from the governorate of Hebron.
4). All lands which are within the plan for Green Jerusalem.
With this Sharon will have engulfed 42% of the West Bank and imposed security custody on what remains. It is settlement colonization at its ugliest. Sharon and Mofaz will continue to talk about the Palestinian side not fulfilling their pledges (to cover up for their lack of abiding to any agreement or pledge), and will only carry out understandings of Sharm Al-Sheikh a tiny bit at a time. Sharon will work on getting as much as he can for every step (formality) he makes, as was the case with the withdrawal from Jericho, where the city is still under occupation and is surrounded from every side. Jericho’s roads are under occupation and the areas outside of the city of Jericho are under full occupation.
Who are some people applauding for, and why?
The Arab and Palestinian leaders have real pressure cards that are far more influential than their resignation documents. So why then do they not gather them and examine ways of using them?
Here is Prince Abdallah heading to Washington. Is there a well-researched and coordinated position to exert pressure on the US (especially in the light of the rise in oil prices)?
More than one Arab leader will be heading to Washington; have their positions been coordinated against the backdrop of the declining Zionist influence and having state positions controlled by US interests?
If Bush wanted to stop settlement activity and expansion, stop the annexation of lands and the building of the wall, and begin the implementation of the road map he would, but the absence of Arab pressure means he does not have to.
Therefore, we say that these are the points to be addressed when exerting Arab pressure:
– An immediate halt to settlement expansion with international monitoring (some news states that the expansion work in Maale Adummim has begun, and that the Qalandia military roadblock is being turned into a permanent border point such as the one set up at Erez in the Gaza Strip).
– With the start of the withdrawal out of Gaza negotiations to implement the road map shall begin with high-level presence from the four-member committee.
– Commencement of the evacuation of West Bank settlements.
– Removal of all military roadblocks and dirt barriers from the roads of the West Bank.
– The withdrawal of the Israeli army from areas A and B and the handing over of these areas to the Palestinian Authority in all aspects (security, economy and administration)
Washington needs a victory in the Middle East and therefore it needs an independent Palestinian state, just as the Palestinians need Washington in order to achieve this.
This means that the interests of the US require serious and hard work towards establishing a sovereign, independent, viable Palestinian state with geographic continuity (Bush’s words). So why not aid the US administration to do this?
Aiding the US administration in this context can come about in only one way; by exerting pressure on it and making it feel that its interests would be affected if it did not do so. Such a position would strengthen the administration’s ability to confront any opposition to the adoption of a firm stand in favor of the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.