Tags: Bush | Win: | Arabs | Up | Israel | Down

Bush Win: Arabs Up, Israel Down

Thursday, 09 November 2000 12:00 AM

According to a report by World Tribune.com:

Pending word on whether George W. Bush, the Republican nominee, has definitely won in the Electoral College vote, Arab leaders as well as official newspapers and electronic media have largely held off commenting on what his victory might mean.

But privately, "there is a sense of relief."

The word quietly making the rounds within Arab diplomatic circles is that Bush will return to a more hard-headed approach to the Middle East than the Clinton-Gore administration has followed for the past eight years.

In Gaza, Palestinian Authority officials said Bush's election would provide them with a window of opportunity to declare a Palestinian state within a few months.

In Iran, Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi, calling for a radical change in United States policy under Bush, said: "The time has come for Americans to revise their policies."

A notable exception to Arab optimism over a Bush victory is Iraq, where President Saddam Hussein has not forgotten it was Bush's father who, as president a decade ago, and Dick Cheney, as secretary of defense, assembled and led the coalition of nations that defeated Iraq in the Persian Gulf War.

As for the Israeli government, when the first news of a Bush victory reached Prime Minister Ehud Barak during a security session, several senior ministers expressed concern.

They are worried that Bush might scuttle plans for massive military and civilian aid to Israel in any Middle East peace accord.

Israeli defense sources said they fear Bush would try to curb Israeli weapons sales to countries such as Communist China that are hostile to the United States.

Barak is being urged to revive, in the interim before the new American president takes office in January, the sale of the Phalcon airborne early-warning alert system to Beijing that the Clinton-Gore administration managed to get Israel to suspend.

In contrast, because Bush is regarded as favoring India, some Israeli defense officials think he might look favorably on Israel's selling the Phalcon system to New Delhi.

And a former Foreign Ministry director-general, Shlomo Avineri, said that Bush as president, and Cheney, as vice president, "will not necessarily be hostile to Israel, but there will not be warmth or understanding."

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According to a report by World Tribune.com: Pending word on whether George W. Bush, the Republican nominee, has definitely won in the Electoral College vote, Arab leaders as well as official newspapers and electronic media have largely held off commenting on what his...
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2000-00-09
Thursday, 09 November 2000 12:00 AM
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