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Tasteless (Condoleezza) Rice

By Michael Freund
12/1/2006, 12:00 AM

She may be attractive, articulate and intelligent, but don’t let that fool you into thinking that Condoleezza Rice is a friend of Israel.

Condi_rice_1 The US Secretary of State in recent weeks has engineered yet another major Israeli concession, compelling the Jewish state to allow Palestinians in eastern Jerusalem to take part in the upcoming Palestinian Authority (PA) elections.

Despite months of insisting that it would not back down on the issue, Israel has done precisely that, with Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert now planning to get the cabinet to approve the move at its weekly session on Sunday.

This is far more than just a question of procedural issues – it undercuts Israel’s sovereignty in its own capital, and reinforces ties between the city’s Palestinians and the PA.

Allowing Jerusalem Palestinians to take part sends a message that a foreign entity – namely, the PA – is the ultimate political authority to whom the city’s Arab residents must turn.

And that, of course, is precisely what the Palestinian leadership would like to see happen.

By twisting Israel’s arm on this issue at a time when the country’s Prime Minister lies in a hospital bed fighting for his life, Condoleezza Rice has demonstrated a startling lack of decency and humanity.

And by undermining Israel’s position on Jerusalem, and giving the Palestinians a huge political victory, Rice has shown where her sympathies truly lie.

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