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January 10, 2008
Bush Expects Palestinian State before he leaves Office
Continuing his 8 day tour of the Middle East, the President was in Ramallah today for talks with PA President Mahmoud Abbas.
After thost discussions, the President said that he believes it is possible that a Palestinian state can be achieved before he leaves office:
"I believe there will be a signed peace treaty by the time I leave office," the president said. He vowed to "nudge the process forward" by pressuring leaders on both sides and "be a pain if I need to be a pain." It would seem to me that if the Palestinians want a state of their own, they should prove they can unite as a people. Right now, the divisions between Fatah and Hamas make it impossible for the PA to speak with one voice. Even then, there would have to be substantial concessions for the Israelis to even consider the idea of a Palestinian state.
Despite Bush's upbeat assessment, there was little to suggest concrete progress during his second day in the Middle East. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is powerless to stop militants in Gaza from firing rockets into southern Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is reluctant to close dozens of illegal outposts. Without those early moves, leaders on both sides say a deal isn't possible.
Sounds like the president is just not being realistic. Or is engaging in a little wishful thinking.