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Bush's Trip to Jerusalem
By Micah Halpern

Friday January 11, 2007

I'm Predicting:

The business side of the Bush trip to Israel and the Palestinian Authority is over. Today the president will spend private time at holy sites and then move on to the rest of his Mid East trip.
What have we learned?

Vis a Vis Israel:
Bush demonstrated that he is very comfortable, very at ease with Israel. He accepts the Israeli point of view on almost every issue and really, only asks Israel to exhibit restraint.
Vis a Vis the Palestinian Authority:
Bush will be called to task by the Arab world for his friendship with Israel and for his allegiance to Israel which are interpreted as snubs to the PA and by extension to the entire Arab world.
Vis a Vis Bush's personal odyssey:
Bush broke from protocol and chose not to visit the tomb of Yasser Arafat a spot which all foreign dignitaries visit when they come to Ramallah. Understandably, the Palestinians were upset, displeased, distraught over this decision.

My analysis:
Bravo Mr. Bush.
No American or Western president can justify a visit to the Arafat tomb.
But this action will have a ripple effect throughout the Arab world.
I expect very tense exchanges between George Bush and the Arab leaders he is scheduled to meet as he continues on this journey through the Middle East.

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4 June 2017 12:14 PM in Predictions

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