http://www.sina.com.cn 2008年01月15日 12:56 钱江晚报
Bush's trip to Ramallah produced plenty of happy talk. He arrived at the Palestinian presidential compound in the West Bank mid-morning, and went into an hour and a half of talks. At a press conference afterwards, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said, "Peace in the world starts from here, from the Holy Land." Bush himself said, "If given a chance the Palestinian people will work for freedom," and said he was confident that there will be "a signed peace treaty by the time I leave office."
Bush capped the two days of talks Thursday evening with a restatement of U.S. goals for a peace deal as well as encouragement for both sides to pursue talks. But if it hasn't been already obvious, Bush's trip to Israel and the West Bank this week has made one thing abundantly clear: the Israelis and Palestinians aren't making peace anytime soon. Israel is as resistant to basic peace process concessions as it has always been and the Palestinians are alternately weak or violent, depending on which part of their territory you look at.
In response, the U.S. has delivered more talk than action since the Annapolis summit late last year, and some of that talk has been contradictory. When the hope and hoopla of Bush's trip to the region fades in coming days, the U.S. will need to come up with more realistic goals for the next twelve months of diplomacy. Otherwise it risks undermining the very regional leaders.
Bush had no deliverable achievements to announce from the two days of talks. Instead, he and his advisers pointed to the Palestinian and Israeli agreements, made in the days before he arrived, "on the modalities for going forward with negotiations," according to National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley. These include biweekly meetings between Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and lower-level meetings.
At Annapolis, the U.S. promised to moderate confidence-building talks; and Washington has named a three-star general to lead the process, consulting with each side and collecting the complaints lodged by one party against the other. At the Ramallah press conference, Bush dismissed questions about the sluggish diplomacy, saying that it was up to the Palestinian and Israeli leaders to take the tough steps. "The only way to have lasting peace, the only way for an agreement to mean anything, is for the two parties to come together and make the difficult choices."