The Israeli and Palestinian governments obviously want and expect different things from George Bush’s visit to the region which begins on Wednesday. But there seems to be widespread agreement that his trip will result in little or no progress in peace negotiations. “There were so many promises until now from other presidents who visited us, or we visited them, and nothing happened,” said one Tel Aviv resident.“I think if he wanted to do something, he would have done something already that would have really made a difference. And I think he – at this point, like they say, at this point, it’s the end of his term, and he wants to go down in history, so this might be you know – see if he can get something in the last minute. He’s coming here and showing his face, and seeing what he can do,” added another unidentified resident of Tel Aviv.
Scepticism also echoed by some residents in the West Bank city of Ramallah who feel actions speak louder than words. “Bush will be going home empty handed nothing will be done, am sure about it,” Ramallah resident Dahwood Diab said.
However another local expressed the need for peace: “I hope, I pray to God, and I hope his visit and all the authority get together and ask for real peace for our people, because our people need a real peace.” His optimism is not widely shared however and business is brisk in shops selling George Bush dolls, many of which are expected to be set alight in protest against his visit.