Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Wednesday offered sympathy for the Israeli settlers who are being removed from their homes in Gaza but also made it clear that she expected Israel and the Palestinians to take further steps in short order toward the creation of a Palestinian state.Sounds like pressure on Israel, right? Well read Richman's analysis of what she actually said using the transcript of the entire interview.
"Everyone empathizes with what the Israelis are facing," Ms. Rice said in an interview. But she added, "It cannot be Gaza only."
The first part was lifted from Rice’s response to the Times’ question about how she could “assure that [Gaza] is not the last step for a good while?”She then went on for a bit talking about how maybe, after having worked together to coordinate the Gaza pullout, the Israelis and PA can work together on other questions.I know, in having talked to [Sharon and his government] and watched how hard and I think everybody empathizes with what every Israeli has to be feeling and with people uprooting from homes that they have been in for a generation and the difficulty and the pain that that causes. And so I watched Prime Minister Sharon's address to the nation and it was really remarkable statesmanship.
The Times then asked other questions, including “And so what should Israel do right now, after Gaza?” [can you discern a certain theme to the Times’ questions?] and then [continuing with the same theme] “Do you think you’ll go back there in the fall to keep the momentum going?”:It rings rather differently when you see the intervening words. Read the rest of Richland's analysis of the interview and what the NYT left out in its eagerness to make it look like Rice was pressuring Israel.Let’s see, you know, what’s required. . . . But by no means do I think that this is the end.It was not Rice dictating to Israel that it “cannot be Gaza only.” She was stating what others had been “repeatedly” telling Israel and the United States, and responding that there were four settlements in the West Bank being dismantled, with a Roadmap for the future.
The other thing is, just to close off this question, the question has been put repeatedly to the Israelis and to us that it cannot be Gaza only and everybody says no, it cannot be Gaza only. There is, after all, even a link to the West Bank and the four settlements that are going to be dismantled in the West Bank. Everybody, I believe, understands that what we're trying to do is to create momentum toward reenergizing the roadmap and through that momentum toward the eventual establishment of a Palestinian state.