The Bush administration appears to have learned a few things from the Obama campaign and is now touting the “audacity of hope” about progress with the intransigent Israelis, whose colonial agenda is now open for all to see.

Turning to hope signifies that the US has lost any leverage it may have had to bring Israel out of its dream world as neither Rice, nor Bush and his shadow, Cheney, have been effective. Perhaps they haven’t heard: Oslo and the principle of land for peace was pronounced dead back in 2000 when Sharon instigated the second Intifada, even before 9/11. It was 9/11, however, which benefited Israel most according to the Likud party chairman, Netanyahu, by providing Israel, with the help of the US State Department, with its greatest propaganda triumph ever, one that continues to dominate the news.

Israel is the victim of Palestinian terrorism. The purpose of the military occupation, therefore, is to root out and kill terrorists. Under this veil of propaganda, the occupation continues, even today, with its ethnic cleansing, land confiscations, and the unrelenting building of settlements. In short, Israel’s colonialism is alive and well in the West Bank, or as it is known in Israel, Judea and Samaria.
So this article on the BBC this morning is just repetitive.

It is crunch time for the Bush administration as it continues to hold out hope for a peace agreement between the Palestinians and the Israelis.

But even US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice let out a sign of her frustration at the lack of progress on the ground, particularly on the part of the Israelis. On her way to Jerusalem for meetings with officials there and then with Palestinian officials in Ramallah, Ms Rice discussed some of the items on her agenda with the reporters traveling with her on the plane.

These include the concrete and sensitive issues of continued Israeli settlement activity and Israeli roadblocks in the West Bank.

The rest of the article repeats what those before it said: Rice going to Israel, will demand stop to settlement building, asks Israel to dismantle some inconsequential roadblocks, and so forth. Israel says no problem then fails to act.

Take this statement about Rice’s last visit.

During her last visit in March, Israel promised to remove 61 roadblocks. But the UN says only 44 have been dismantled, and most of them had no or little significance.
When asked whether she would ask the Israelis to dismantle more roadblocks, she replied with a somewhat exasperated laugh: “The first thing we’re going to do is review the ones that were supposedly removed.”

The choice of the word “supposedly” was telling of the difficulties faced by the Bush administration as it tries its hand at solving a 60-year-old intractable conflict involving a top US ally.

Merry-go-rounds move but stay in the same place. That Rice has visited Israel and the Palestinian territories almost every month in the last two years with no change in Israel’s intransigence and settlement activity would seem to suggest that she, along with Bush, is just not getting it.

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