Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is behaving like a zealot. In her ever-more-rash pursuit of a Palestinian state, she is exhibiting the syndrome defined by the philosopher George Santana, as one who redoubles her efforts upon losing sight of the objective.
Let’s recall: The objective laid out by President Bush, when he decided in June 2002 to support the creation of a homeland for the Palestinian people, was to provide a stable, secure neighbor for Israel, committed to leaving peaceably with the Jewish State.
Mr. Bush explicitly preconditioned such support on: an end to Palestinian terror; a Palestinian leadership that was not tainted by ties to terrorism; and the elimination of the infrastructure in Palestinian areas that enables such behavior. After the 9/11 attacks, the United States was in the business of eliminating terrorist-sponsoring regimes, not creating them.
Now, however, it is crystal clear that the only outcome from Condi Rice’s idée fixe – namely that she will convene a Middle East peace conference at the U.S. Naval Academy for the purpose of extracting from Israel the territorial concessions needed rapidly to establish a Palestinian state – has nothing to do with the original Bush vision. Under present and foreseeable circumstances, the best that can be hoped for from such a meeting is failure. For success will result in a new safe-haven for terror that is a mortal threat not only for Israel, but for the United States, as well.
My only quibble with Gaffney's assessment is that he charitably ascribes her motivation to blindness caused by overwork. It has been long-standing US practice to mollify both of the constituencies on the Arab-Israeli conflict. The Arabs are to be given the land they seek in order to destroy Israel, while the Jews are offered palliative words. Not surprisingly, the technique of sweet-talking Israel to "give it up" was perfected by Bill Clinton.
Gaffney is only the latest to notice that the words do not match the reality.