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ANNAPOLIS Re Re: Monitoring and Judging

Noah, there is one reason to feel relief about the goings-on at Annapolis so far, and that is this: The negotiations in question are between Israel and the PA, with the United States serving as some kind of road-map referee. In his statement, George W. Bush did not change American policy one iota. It is not the responsibility of the United States government if the prime minister of Israel decides to start talking about the 1967 borders, and it would be foolish to expect any American administration to be more hard-line toward Palestinian demands for land and territory and borders than the government of Israel. The issue now is: What kind of pressure will the Israeli public exert on Olmert to temper his peculiar enthusiasm? Or will it be pressure of another kind that slows things down — pressure from Hamas, in the form of rockets hurled at Israel from Gaza and fomenting more strife in the Abbas-controlled lands of the West Bank?


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