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Last Updated: Friday, 11 January 2008, 12:14 GMT
Press lukewarm on Bush Mideast vision
Israeli Palestinian press graphic

As President George Bush moves to Kuwait on the next stop of his Middle East tour, Palestinian and Israeli newspapers scrutinize the vision he presented on Thursday for a Palestinian state alongside Israel.

Palestinian commentators argue that the US must play an active monitoring role if the plan is to have any chance of success; a pro-Hamas paper dismisses the president as a "clown".

In Israel, one daily welcomes the Bush statement but warns against confusing rhetoric with reality, while others stress that the hard work is only just beginning.

HAFITH AL-BARGHOUTHI IN PALESTINIAN AL-HAYAT AL-JADIDAH

Israel's understanding of the vision will destroy it, through its requests and stalling. If President Bush wants his vision to succeed, he will have to go ahead with it without allowing the Israelis to affect it in such a way that this state would become an Israeli protectorate.

HASAN AL-BATAL IN PALESTINIAN AL-AYYAM

We do not know if Mr Bush has left us with a different point of view after visiting... However, once he departs, his vision will reach the phase where the US must serve as an arbitrator, which means that it will monitor both sides to see if they are implementing the roadmap.

AHMAD DAHBUR IN PALESTINIAN AL-HAYAT AL-JADIDAH

It is no problem for George Bush to give us a prescription from his pharmacy of illusions and tranquilizers by saying that a Palestinian state will be established before the end of his term at the end of the year. But how can anyone establish a building on pillars of salt and in the middle of a rainstorm?

MUSTAFA AL-SAWWAF IN PALESTINIAN FILASTIN

George Bush appeared nothing less than a clown during the press conference with his Palestinian counterpart Mahmud Abbas. He was extremely belittling in an attempt to cover up the great failure of their meeting, caused by his inability to present anything to the Palestinians. His jests might have made some people laugh, but they also made others cry at the extent of his criminality and lying.

CALEV BEN-DAVID IN ISRAEL'S JERUSALEM POST

Bush is to be commended for his sincere belief in the power of a vision of peace... During his time in the White House, though, he has sometimes confused rhetoric with reality... It's nice, and right, to dream, especially of peace. But as the US president saw this week in Jerusalem, sometimes the skies here are not blue.

NADAV HAETZNI IN ISRAEL'S MAARIV

George Bush arrived here to make certain that in accordance with his "vision" we will cut ourselves to the end... The truth is that today we, as close friends of Bush and his sect, are called upon to pay the price of the grave mistakes Bush committed during his years of rule.

ISRAEL'S HAARETZ

Bush's visit extricated the negotiations from the mud in which they had sunk... It will be a test for Bush: Will he make do with pretty pronouncements about a brighter future or will he play a determined, serious role in making it happen?

NAHUM BARNEA IN ISRAEL'S YEDIOT AHARONOT

From Bush's point of view the evacuation of the illegal settlement outposts is a matter of credibility. Two prime ministers committed themselves to dismantling the outposts. It seems Olmert is aware that he must go for evacuating one illegal settlement and do so by force.

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad.

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