I was struck by the following passage in the New York Times’ account of Saudi King Abdullah’s condemnation of the American occupation of Iraq.
Some here said the king’s speech was a response to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s call on Monday for Arab governments to “begin reaching out to Israel.”
Many read Ms. Rice’s comments as suggesting that Washington was backing away from its support for an Arab initiative aimed at solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Israel wants the Arabs to make changes in the terms, most notably the call for a right of return for Palestinian refugees to what is today Israel. The Arab League is endorsing the initiative, first introduced by Saudi Arabia in 2002, without changes.