Friday, May 03, 2002
So Sharon and Bush are going to present "detailed" peace plans. So says Ha'aretz and a number of other outlets. What could either of them possibly propose? I don't see Bush demanding an Israeli surrender. I still believe he knows who Arafat is, but that he's dealing with the reality that eliminating Arafat dramatically escalates the war, and Bush isn't ready to do that, at least not yet. And I don't see Sharon making all this noise about his plan if he doesn't have one. So what will he propose?
I can see only two possibilities, mutually compatible:
(1) Sharon will offer Arafat a state in Gaza.
(2) Sharon proposes a substantial withdrawal from the core of the West Bank on condition that Jordan take a lead role in policing the Palestinian areas.
But I can't see Sharon agreeing to uproot settlements in the absence of an end to the conflict, and I can't see Sharon agreeing to re-arm Arafat after spending months destroying his infrastructure. What would be the point?
As for Bush, I can't imagine what he can propose at the international peace conference being planned. I guess we'll all see.