A certain progress has already been achieved
George W. Bush definitely dreams of going down in history as the president, who settled down the Arab-Israeli conflict. Bill Clinton dreamed of accomplishing that too, but he failed to succeed. In fact, Bush would have managed to make Israelis and Palestinians negotiate a lot earlier, but the war in Iraq did not let George W. Bush do so. Yet, Saddam has been overthrown, so nothing will stop the American president from looking into the conflict between Israel and Palestine. However, it is not clear, if something worthy is going to happen.
One may not reject the fact of a certain progress that has been achieved recently in the regulation of the conflict. Ariel Sharon's statements about Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian land mean a lot. No other Israeli prime minister has ever used this word in their speech - "occupation."
In fact, Israelis have finally agreed upon making concessions that were absolutely out of the question before: tens of Palestinian activists have been released from Israeli jails, even terrorism-implicated prisoners. It was hard to imagine that just a month ago.
It would be logical to expect something like that from Palestinians too. Palestinian prime minister Mahmud Abbas said that it was the end of the intifada, that subversive activities of several Palestinian organizations would be stopped. Yet, it is not known, how Abbas is going to cease Hamas's subversive activities, for example. It is very hard to say with certainty that the agreements that have been achieved in Jordan's Aqaba will prove to be viable. In fact, having released abstract, albeit important statements, Israelis and Palestinians have not managed to compromise. Mahmud Abbas started glorifying Yasser Arafat, the "symbol of the Palestinian movement." However, neither Bush nor Sharon are willing to deal with this "symbol." One may dwell on a question of Arafat's control over radical Palestinian groups, but no "road map" will be viable without his approval.
Israelis’ consistency raises certain doubts as well. They will not give away Jerusalem to Palestinians, of course. Ariel Sharon promised to "immediately begin to remove unauthorized outposts" on he West Bank of Jordan, but the prime minister did not specify, which outposts and how many of them are going to be removed. Furthermore, it has recently transpired that the majority of illegal settlements would soon obtain the legal status.
Of course, George W. Bush has succeeded a lot, when he made Palestinians and Israelis negotiate the conflict matter. However, it has already happened before too, although negotiations led to new outbursts of violence anyway. It is impossible to overcome the opposition between Palestine and Israel in a couple of months, taking into consideration the fact that it has been going on for decades already. The outlines of the independent Palestinian state in the year 2005 are very vague at present.
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