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US: Condoleeza Rice's "Secret Weapon"
We posted an article forwarded by WAIS webmaster Steve Magulies on the firm Christian convictions of Condeleezza Rica. Steve now says:
"What I forgot to mention is that I came across the Condoleeza Rice article following a link from the hyper-hawkish Jerusalem Post (www.jpost.com). The Rice article was linked from a Jerusalem Post artcle outlining the current American position on the re-routing of the much debated "Security Wall" 25km deeper into the West Bank to include the settlements of Ariel and surrounding smaller settlements.
I have read several articles in Maariv, Haaretz and Yediot along the same lines. Apparently Ms. Rice is very well thought of in Israeli political circles. Here is the article below:
"Israel to seek fence compromise in US" by Herb Keinon
"Senior Israeli officials Dov Weisglass and Amos Yaron are to arrive in Washington Sunday with maps and a mandate to look for a compromise with the US over the route of the next stage of the security fence. The US has made it clear that it objects to drawing the town of Ariel and its satellite communities inside the fence, a dip some 25 kilometers east of the Green Line, saying this would pre-judge any political settlement. Last week US envoy John Wolf reportedly told Yaron, the director-general of the Defense Ministry, that money Israel spends on the fence to incorporate settlement blocs would be deducted from Israel's $9 billion in US loan guarantees. One senior diplomatic official said that Yaron and Weisglass, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's bureau chief, will seek a formula that will provide security for Ariel and at the same time convince the US that Israel is not trying to delineate borders.
One suggestion, the official said, would be not to include Ariel in the fence, but then not have the increased cost of providing security for Ariel through the deployment of additional IDF units and the construction of physical barrier and censors taken off the loan guarantees. Y-net reported this week that not including Ariel inside the fence, but still providing it with adequate security, would cost some NIS 200 million more than if the fence were built around the settlement.
"The fence is not going to stand in the way of the sustained, long-standing relations between Israel and the US," the diplomatic official said. "A solution will be found without compromising the security of the citizens of Israel." Weisglass and Yaron are to meet US National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice early in the week. In addition, Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom who is to leave Sunday for the UN is expected to talk about the issue when he meets with US Secretary of State Colin Powell in New York.
On Friday, Yaron presented Likud members of the security cabinet Shalom, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, Finance Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Education Minister Limor Livnat, and Internal Security Minister Tzahi Hanegbi with two plans for the fence. One plan included the settlements of Karnei Shomron, Kedumim, Elkana, and Ariel within the fence, positioning it east of these settlements, while the other plan was to leave a gap in the fence between the Alei Zahav and Elkana settlements, providing them with other forms of security, and deferring the decision on the final route of the fence to a later date.
The 11-member security cabinet on which the Likud has six votes is expected to discuss and vote on the matter soon after Weisglass and Yaron return from the US. Friday's meeting was intended to unify Likud ministers on the matter before it comes up at the security cabinet for a vote. Sharon said at the meeting that, "Whatever we decide, Ariel must be guaranteed 100% security." "It is clear Ariel will remain in Israel's hands under any future agreement," he added.
Minister of Industry, Trade, and Labor Ehud Olmert, who is also a member of the security cabinet but was not at Friday's meetings, said the fence would reach Ariel, but not encircle it completely, in order to ensure there is some freedom of movement for Palestinians living in the area. "There will be a gap," he said. "It's a sign of compromise. That's the proposal," he told The Jerusalem Post at a conference held by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy outside Washington". Janine Zacharia contributed to this report."
Ronald Hilton - 09.23.03