Just what one would expect from the captive, 'liberal' Jewish-connected, Washington Post:
An Opportunity to Relaunch Efforts to Break the Cycle of Violence
Sunday, April 13, 2003; Page A36
Few subjects have divided administration officials as much as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and little progress has been made in the 10 months since President Bush pledged to create a Palestinian state in three years. But officials believe the victory in Iraq, and the appointment last month of a new Palestinian prime minister, have created an opportunity to demonstrate to the Arab world that the administration is determined to end the cycle of violence.
Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, in particular, believes he has a commitment from the president to take forceful steps. Once the Palestinian prime minister -- Mahmoud Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen -- forms a cabinet, the administration has said it would release a "road map" that lays out the steps expected of both sides to reach the goal of a Palestinian state. The plan was crafted by the United States, United Nations, European Union and Russia.
Administration officials have told the Israeli government that it is in its interest to allow Abbas to succeed. "We're talking hard, right now," an official said, about the steps expected of the Israeli government. A senior Arab official said Arabs will be watching to see whether Israel takes substantive steps such as quickly reducing the number of roadblocks and checkpoints on the West Bank or dismantling some settlements.
Yet Israel has serious concerns about the road map, and officials have indicated they want to renegotiate some aspects, a position that has some sympathy in other parts of the administration.
"We've talked to the Israelis repeatedly about doing something about the daily life" of the Palestinians, but the Israelis have "a security problem," another official said. But, the official added, once the road map is released, people "shouldn't go to their corners and begin talking about what they're not going to do."
U.S. and Arab officials acknowledge that time is running short. If little progress is made by summer, it will be difficult for an administration running for reelection in 2004 to place much pressure on Israel, giving the Israelis an incentive to drag out the process. "All bets are off" after the summer, a U.S. official said.