S-Space Graduate School of International Studies (국제대학원) Dept. of International Studies (국제학과) Journal of International and Area Studies (JIAS) Journal of International and Area Studies vol.22 (2015)
President George W. Bushs Legacy on the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process
- Issue Date
- Institute of International Affairs, Graduate School of International Studies, Seoul National University
- Journal of International and Area Studies, Vol.22 No.1, pp. 79-92
- Following the events of September 11, President George W. Bush shifted his approach in support of further involvement in Middle Eastern affairs. He delivered, on June 24, 2002, a speech in support of the creation of a peaceful and democratic Palestinian state alongside Israel. Bush specifically asked the Palestinians to reform the Palestinian Authority, dismantle their militant groups and elect a new leader. Bush also backed the Quartets Road Map formula (sponsored by the U.N., the E.U., and Russia) for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Although Bushs vision and the Road Map plan marked a new shift in U.S. policy on the Palestinian issue, both failed to exercise leverage upon Israel to withdraw from the Palestinian territories. They failed to provide details concerning the final status issues, including the future of Jerusalem, the refugees, Jewish settlements, statehood and borders, which served to satisfy Israels objection to packaged deals that may entail pressures for withdrawal from the Palestinian territories. While exploring factors, events and forces that may have motivated Bushs plans for the region, this article will underline the main themes of his two states idea and those of the Road Maps formula. It also examines signs of inconsistencies and fluctuations in Bushs policies towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, along with comparing Bushs rhetoric on the Palestinian state to the actual realities on the ground. This article seeks a historically grounded critical understanding of U.S. policy towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in general and the Bush Administrations conception of the two states solution in particular. It also reflects slightly on signs of continuities and/or changes experienced during Barak Obamas presidency with regard to the Middle East region.
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