A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman
June 19, 2007 Bush and Olmert Agree No Talks With Syria
Prime Minister Olmert met with President Bush today. The two embattled leaders did the best they could to support each other. Bush praising Olmert for his strong leadership. President Bush stated that he was not willing to be the intermediary between Syria and Israel. Olmert stated that Syrians answers about negotiations did not provide a basis to begin negotiations. Both ruled out negotiations with Syria at the moment. Some Israeli observers believed that part of OlmertŐs reason for holding off on negotiations with Syria is his plan to engage in serious negotiations with the Palestianians in West Bank. It has always been the policy of the Israeli government not to engage in negotiations on two fronts simultaneously. Everyone is attempting to do what it can to enhance AbbasŐ government. The major question is whether Abbas is able to carry the burden.
The refugees from Hamas are still in Erez. It took twenty hours for Israel to agree to evacuate the Palestinian wounded. The world media is filled with pictures of Palestinians stuck between the IDF and Hamas. Whatever the risks of allowing a few hundred Palestinians from Gaza to enter Israel, they are more than overshadowed by the damage done by these photos.
Egypt, feeling completely betrayed by Hamas, is trying to organize an anti-Hamas summit, which would include Abbas and Olmert, as well as the Quartet. In the meantime, it would seem Al Qaeda is making public attacks on Hamas in Gaza. It claims that any negotiations on the release of Gilad Shalit are unacceptable.
Fouad Ajami wrote an interesting article in the New York Times today called Brother to the Bitter End. I suggest reading it. In the articel he writes:"The Palestinian ruin was a long time in coming. No other national movement has had the indulgence granted the Palestinians over the last half-century, and the results can be seen in the bravado and the senseless violence, in the inability of a people to come to terms with their condition and their needs."
At the Paris Air Show Israel unveiled a new unmanned aircraft. The large UVA is capable of flying for 36 hours. It can carry a large payload of cameras and missiles. According to Israeli sources if it had been flying last summer it would have been capable of destroying a many of the Katusha before they were sent.