“We express our determination to bring an end to bloodshed, suffering and decades of conflict between our peoples; to usher in a new era of peace, based on freedom, security, justice, dignity, respect and mutual recognition; to propagate a culture of peace and nonviolence; to confront terrorism and incitement, whether committed by Palestinians or Israelis.
I'll get to my reaction in a moment, but clearly far Right wing blogger Pam Geller of Atlas Shrugs had taken a day off from her medication upon reading that bit. She petulantly stamped her little foot and proclaimed:
BUSH: WE ARE ALL TERRORISTS NOW
Bush has lost his mind and his moral compass. This statement is an outrage. A lie and a blood libel. Israel has never committed any acts of terrorism. What a tool of Islamic jihad. Based on that, Bush is a terrorist, anyone that defends himself, his family, his country is a terrorist.This is a sad sad day.
Now, first of all, that wasn't a comment by Bush in some off the cuff fashion. He was reading the text provided to him from his guests, as the original article clearly notes.
We’re off to a strong start. I’m about to read a statement that was agreed upon by our distinguished guests.
That wasn't any sort of official United States position. It was a joint statement from the participants. Also, it's important to remember that not everyone views the troubles between Israel and the Palestinians through such a blindly partisan prism. I believe that Lawyers, Guns and Money goes a bit overboard in the other direction, but they do provide a glimpse at an opposing view.
It's almost as if the past seven years -- during which the US did utterly nothing to discourage Israel's brutal reassertions in the West Bank, its conversion of Gaza into the world's largest open-air prison, or its self-defeating war in Lebanon -- hadn't actually happened.
I do feel that Israel has been playing defense pretty much since their inception. You can't deny that their neighbors have been seeking to eliminate them since the state was carved out. However, they hardly have clean hands in every instance. I have maintained all along that the continual meddling in the Middle East by the United States, including our unquestioning support and arming of Israel, is one of the chief reasons so many Muslims are attempting to blow us up.
Unfortunately for many on the furthest Right wing, any sort of real, lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians would be the worst thing possible, as it would remove a lot of the teeth from the entire "war on terror" narrative. That's probably why so many of them have been denouncing these talks from the beginning and issuing cries of these talks heralding the imminent destruction of Israel, Apocalypse, pale horsemen in the skies, dogs and cats sleeping together, etc.
I'm not naive enough to think that this Annapolis meeting is going to suddenly bring an end to the conflict, but I'm at least willing to give them a shot at it. How much worse could it get?