A senior Israeli official, listening to President Bush’s June 24 speech outlining U.S. policy on the Middle East, kept waiting to hear what pressure the U.S. was going to apply to Israel. He never heard it mentioned. “I thought all the way through the speech: this is the carrot, now comes the stick,” said the official. But “there was no stick.”
Bush’s demands were directed only at the Palestinians, whom Bush said must install new leaders, create more democratic institutions, and devise new security structures to crack down on terrorism. Only then, the president said, will the U.S. support the Palestinian drive for statehood. Bush later specified that if Yasir Arafat is again elected head of the Palestinian National Authority, the U.S. will stop sending the Palestinians $100 million in annual economic aid.