On January 11, President Bush ended his visit to Israel by visiting Yad Vashem, the country's monumental Holocaust memorial. "I wish as many people as possible would come to this place," Bush said. "It is a sobering reminder that evil exists and a call that when evil exists we must resist it."
That was the day after Bush called for "painful political concessions" from Israel with regard to the Palestinian Arabs, explaining, "There should be an end to the occupation that began in 1967. The agreement must establish a Palestine as a homeland for the Palestinian people just as Israel is a homeland for the Jewish people."
Bush is no fool. He recognizes better than any president in recent memory that the Palestinian Arabs do not desire peace -- that they are, in fact, the world's most ardent supporters of anti-Western terrorism. And Bush recognizes that the establishment of a fully operational terrorist state in Judea, Samaria and Gaza would have catastrophic consequences for both Israel and the United States.
So why did Bush abandon his principles and pressure Israel to appease its Islamist enemies? Because four days after Bush's Israel visit, he visited Saudi Arabia and asked OPEC nations to boost their oil output.
The extreme anti-Bush crowd thinks the war in Iraq is about oil. It isn't. But the consistent focus on the Israeli-Palestinian situation is about oil. It has always been about oil. Israel knows it. Bush knows it. And most of all, the Saudis and their Islamist allies know it.
The Saudis have the upper hand with regard to oil. America needs Arab oil more than the Arabs need to sell their oil -- or at least that is what the Arabs would have us believe. And so the Arabs have leverage to push America to force Israel's piecemeal surrender.
And so the Saudis spent a major chunk of time talking to President Bush about how he could put the screws to Israel. "They definitely want [a settlement] to happen," Bush told reporters. "And they questioned the seriousness of the United States to remain in what has been a long and frustrating process. They want to see a deal done. The issue frustrates them."
The Israeli-Palestinian issue frustrates the Saudis in the same way the Jewish issue frustrated the Nazis. The Saudi Arabian government does not even recognize the existence of the State of Israel. Including the Saudis in negotiations regarding Israel is like including Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in negotiations regarding the rights of homosexuals in Iran.
And yet President Bush avers that past peace processes have failed because "there wasn't participation by the neighbors." This is the equivalent of stating that the post-marital Simpson relationship was poor because O.J. was too passive.