Israel says:"Bush capitulated." http://www.nytimes.com/2004/04/19/international/europe/19SPIEGEL2.html Straight to the Heart By ANNETTE GROSSBONGARDT, Der Spiegel ? Published: April 19, 2004 .... snip But the prime minister sees himself as a victor - and he knows that public opinion is on his side. The Israeli newspapers celebrated the summit meeting with the US president with such headlines as "Sharon got everything he wanted," and "Bush capitulated." Sharon, acting on his own, had sealed a sensational deal in Washington. In return for Sharon's removing Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip, the US president gave his blessing to more settlements in the occupied West Bank. One paper even celebrated the triumph in Washington by printing its headline in the national colors, white and blue. Will Israel truly withdraw from the Gaza Strip? If one is to believe Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, he intends to clear the impoverished, overpopulated Palestinian territory within a year. 7800 settlers, protected by the army, have settled in a region where 1.3 million Palestinians live. This time, unlike 1982, when Israel completely dismantled the Jewish settlements on the Sinai Peninsula under a peace treaty with Egypt, houses and the infrastructure are to be left to the Palestinians - at least according to the "solution plan" Sharon announced on Friday. snip Experts in Israeli domestic politics, such as party researcher Diskin, believe that Sharon is still a long way from defeat: "The man is almost unique is his ability to assert himself and withstand pressure." As far as the Gaza referendum in the Likud block is concerned, the Prime Minister has already dispatched his son Omri to let the party's rank and file know that he will resign if he is not supported. Sharon also pressured Bush - by threatening to cancel his trip to Washington at the last minute. He delayed his departure by three hours, until he was certain that the wording of Bush's guarantee would correspond exactly to what he wanted. ---- Some comments: Gaza: Will Israel truly withdraw from the Gaza Strip? Gaza still be like a concentration camp. There will be NO access to the sea, no boundary with Egypt and a fence. The air-space will still be controlled by the Israel airforce. Newspapers proclaim the redraw from Gaza by that's a real joke. Bush/Sharon: "until he was certain that the wording of Bush's guarantee would correspond exactly to what he wanted", that makes it clear that Bush has no proper principles, he's just Sharon's puppet on a string. It seems the real axis of power is Sharon/Perle.