Big Time Dick, last night:
The president stepped forward and put in place a policy basically that said we will support the establishment of two states. First president ever to say we‘ll establish and support a Palestinian state nextdoor to Israelis.
Big NYTimes Story, today:
An Israeli official close to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon created a political storm today when he said in a published interview that Israel wanted to pull out of the Gaza Strip unilaterally in order to freeze the so-called road map to peace with the Palestinians.
The aide, Dov Weissglas, spoke with confidence and the kind of bluntness that even Mr. Sharon has avoided showing in public.
His biggest allegation is that Mr. Sharon’s effort to pull out of Gaza unilaterally mattered because it put off the establishment of a Palestinian state and had the support of the United States, an assertion that is likely to embarrass the Bush administration.
In portions of the interview posted on the Web site of the daily Haaretz, Mr. Weissglas said Mr. Sharon’s policy had temporarily removed the Palestinian state from the Israeli agenda.
“And all this with the authority and permission,” he said. “All with a presidential blessing and the ratification of both houses of Congress.”
Mr. Weissglas stepped down some months ago as Mr. Sharon’s chief of staff, but he remains very close to the prime minister and acts as his point man with top Washington officials, including the national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice.