A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman
January 9, 2008 Bush in Israel
President Bush arrived in Israel today. Watching Airforce One land at Ben Gurion was nice. Most of the coverage on the Israeli news was related to how Jerusalem was tied in knots by the visit. There was general consensus in Israel that there was no substance to the visit, with nothing accomplished. It is a sad fact that Bush, who is making his first visit to Israel as President, has nearly no ability to affect any of the events on the ground. At this point, Bush can neither force Israel to remove the ìillegal settlementsî nor can he get the Palestinians to stop the firing of missiles.
Bush's visit makes for great ceremony at a cost to US and Israelis tax payers of million of dollars. Israel did receive a few pounds of metal in the form of additional Qassams that were launched at Sderot to welcome Bush. Nothing more can be expected from the visit.
It was interesting and no doubt was somewhat timed with the Bush visit that an article appeared on the front page of the New York Times describing what life is like in Sderot. It was one of the few times in recent history that the suffering of Israelis made the front of the Times.