Sent to me by Ilene P. Cohen*
*Executive Editor,_ World Politics_, journal of Princeton University's
Institute for International and Regional Studies.
From_ The Forward_ (old and respected Jewish liberal newspaper in New
*Top Bush Adviser Says Rice’s Push For Mideast Peace Is ‘Just Process’**
Nathan Guttman | Fri. May 11, 2007
*Washington* - As Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice presses Israelis
and Palestinians to meet a new set of policy benchmarks, the White
House is reassuring Jewish groups and conservatives that the president
has no plans to pressure Jerusalem. Deputy National Security Advisor
Elliott Abrams told a group of Jewish communal leaders last week that
the president would ensure that the process does not lead to Israel
being pushed into an agreement with which it is uncomfortable.
Also last week, at a regular gathering of Jewish Republicans, sources
said, Abrams described President Bush as an “emergency brake” who would
prevent Israel from being pressed into a deal; during the breakfast
gathering, the White House official also said that a lot of what is done
during Rice’s frequent trips to the region is “just process” — steps
needed in order to keep the Europeans and moderate Arab countries “on
the team” and to make sure they feel that the United States is promoting
peace in the Middle East.
According to one of the participants in the meeting of Jewish
Republicans, Abrams said that he does not believe that the United States
can make much progress on the Israeli-Palestinian front. The United
States could only see success, Abrams added, on limited issues relating
to freedom of movement for Palestinians in the territories and efforts
to strengthen the presidential guard of Palestinian Authority leader
Abrams offered his skeptical view of the prospects for progress as the
State Department was launching its latest effort to push the process
forward. In general, according to Washington insiders, Rice and her
Middle East team are pushing an increasingly aggressive agenda on the
Israeli-Palestinian front, while the White House policy team, led by
Abrams, is pulling back, viewing any major breakthrough as unlikely.