Good for her. Condi Rice has told Israel that it needs to take steps now to begin the post-Gaza process of returning other occupied territories to Palestinian control.
There is no reason that the Israeli-Palestinian standoff should be forever an unresolved, festering ulcer that helps legitimate in the eyes of the Muslim world the horrific crimes by terrorists. This is a complicated, painful problem — and real lives in Israel and Palestine are severely disrupted by what is going on, but this problem just must be solved.
From the Jerusalem Post:
As Israel struggled Thursday to evacuate the Gush Katif settlements, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said it must take further steps.
“Everyone empathizes with what the Israelis are facing,” she said in an interview with The New York Times. But, she added, “It cannot be Gaza only.”
Rice said this is “really quite a dramatic moment in the history of the Middle East,” and praised Sharon for proving himself “enormously courageous.”
According to the Times, Rice said that while the withdrawal would take several weeks, Israel must take further steps soon afterward, including loosening travel restrictions in the West Bank and withdrawing from more Palestinian cities.
She also said the Palestinian Authority must disarm Hamas. “That is their obligation under the road map,” she said.
— Steve Clemons