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BTL: Bush Middle East Peace Plan Demands Removal of Arafat...

...But Provides No Timetable for Negotiations. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with writer Nadia Hijab, who takes a critical look at the Bush peace plan and discusses what she believes must be part of any future peace agreement for it to be succeessful.
Bush Middle East Peace Plan Demands Removal of Arafat But Provides No Timetable for Negotiations

Between The Lines' Scott Harris Interviews writer Nadia Hajib

While Israeli troops reoccupied large swaths of the West Bank in reaction to recent suicide bombings, President Bush announced that the U.S. would support the establishment of a Palestinian state in the next three years, but only if Yasir Arafat is removed from power. He called for Palestinian legislative elections by the end of the year, a new constitution, economic reform and reorganization of Palestinian security forces. In his June 24 address, Bush also asked Israel to stop building new settlements in the West Bank and Gaza and an eventual pullback to borders established before the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

But the president's demand that Arafat be removed from power as a condition for the creation of a Palestinian state was greeted with anger by many Palestinians. Others in the Arab world criticized Mr. Bush's proposal for its lack of a specific timetable and uneven pressure on the Palestinians. Israeli officials, while quite pleased with the speech which echoed Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's own demand that Arafat be deposed, nevertheless rejected the White House call for a provisional Palestinian state over the next 18 months.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with writer Nadia Hijab, who takes a critical look at the Bush peace plan and discusses what she believes must be part of any future peace agreement for it to be succeessful.

For other perspectives on the Middle East conflict, visit the Web site: www.endtheoccupation.org

Related links:

The Middle East Research and Information Project, (202) 233-3677 or visit their Web site at www.merip.org
The Electronic Intifada at www.electronicintifada.org
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© 2002 Between the Lines C/O WPKN Radio, Bridgeport, Connecticut USA.
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