Daily Israel Report

Sharon Bends To US Demands

Reports continue to surface that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's diplomatic policies are being run more in tandem with American dictates than with Israeli Cabinet decisions.
First Publish: 1/8/2004, 8:14 PM / Last Update: 1/8/2004, 3:58 PM

Reports continue to surface that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's diplomatic policies are being run more in tandem with American dictates than with Israeli Cabinet decisions. Middle East Newsline (MENL) reports today that Sharon pledged to the United States that he would help establish an interim Palestinian state in 2004, regardless of whether the Palestinian Authority ends terrorism and eliminates terrorist infrastructures.

Anonymous Israeli officials quoted by MENL said that Sharon relayed this commitment to President Bush in late 2003. Sharon agreed, the report states, to a U.S. demand that the Road Map be implemented over the next year - even if the PA does not fulfill its commitment to fight Hamas, Islamic Jihad and others.

As Arutz-7 reported earlier this week, this flies in the face of an Israeli Cabinet decision that makes Road Map implementation contingent upon the PA's fulfillment of its own obligations. On May 25, 2003, the Israeli Government approved the Road Map, but attached 14 reservations - Sharon called them at the time "red lines beyond which we cannot and will not withdraw" - stating clearly that Israel will not proceed with the Road Map unless the PA fulfills its obligations. The 14 points state that "there must be no terrorism during the process," that the PA must "dismantle the existing security organizations," and that "full performance will be a condition for progress between phases and for progress within phases."

Deputy Defense Minister Ze'ev Boim unabashedly told Arutz-7 earlier this week that the reason Sharon is bent on destroying Yesha outposts even as terrorism continues is because of the agreement with the U.S.: "The Americans said clearly that within the first phase of the Road Map, the sides were to fulfill their commitments in parallel, with our obligations not dependent on whether the PA fulfilled its obligations. So we have to do this in order to fulfill our commitment to the Americans."