MIDDLE EAST UPDATE
RICE CLEARS GAZA HURDLE
(June 23, 2005)
TEL AVIV - Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice Sunday cleared at least one crucial hurdle in the way of Israel's historic withdrawal from Gaza and the northern West Bank.
Looking fetching and quite the athelete in Israeli-made Nikes and a spaghetti-strap taupe and brown tank top over navy running shorts, the Secretary of State cleared the hurdle easily on the first attempt.
"It's my conditioning," she said. Adding, "Like many of my people, I've been running from cops and process-servers for most of my life."
Rice's visit is seen largely as a way to shepherd cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians on disengagement. If successful on the second hurdle, a difficult water hazard, it could create conditions for progress on a broader playing field in the long term.
"Much more work will need to be done in the coming months for the disengagement to succeed," she said at a press conference Sunday at the end of the first event.
"This is a historic step that is being taken. It is not easy, and the next several months ahead of us are complicated and consequential for the future. I'm hoping that Prime Minister Sharon will shed a couple of tons of blubber so that he can more directly participate."
The Prime Minister, who was at lunch when told of Rice's statement, said he would not comment except to say that the Secretary should try the blintzes.