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Is the White House definition of a "contiguous" Palestinian state a "Snow job?"

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Calling out the White House

Is the White House definition of a "contiguous" Palestinian state a “Snow job?”

Last fall, in an exchange over tactics from national Republicans that helped liberal Republican Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R.I.) narrowly avoid defeat by a conservative primary opponent, White House Press Secretary Tony Snow and I got into a somewhat heated dispute about the definition of the word “egregious” (which I used to characterize the tactics that helped rescue Chafee, who went on to lose the November election.)

At the gaggle (early morning briefing) at the White House today, Snow and I did not have harsh words, but he nonetheless left me a bit confused about the President’s use of the word “contiguous”, which Mr. Bush only yesterday used to describe his vision of a Palestinian State. 

At an address on Middle East policy in the East Room of the White House yesterday, the President said that current negotiations “must guarantee that a Palestinian State is viable and contiguous.” 

According to Webster’s Dictionary, “contiguous” means “to have contact with” and synonyms cited for the word at “touching” and “adjoining.”  The last time I checked, the Gaza Strip portion of the current Palestinian Directorate does not touch or adjoin the remaining portion because it is separated by Israel.

When I asked Snow how the Administration defines a Palestinian State that is contiguous today, he told me “contiguous is the term of art for a Palestinian State that includes Gaza and the West Bank.” Beyond that, the President’s top spokesman added, he was “not going to get into final status negotiations from the podium.”

Go figure. 

Written By

John Gizzi has come to be known as â??the man who knows everyone in Washingtonâ? and, indeed, many of those who hold elected positions and in party leadership roles throughout the United States. With his daily access to the White House as a correspondent, Mr. Gizzi offers readers the inside scoop on whatâ??s going on in the nationâ??s capital. He is the author of a number of popular Human Events features, such as â??Gizzi on Politicsâ? and spotlights of key political races around the country. Gizzi also is the host of â??Gizziâ??s America,â? video interviews that appear on HumanEvents.com. Gizzi got his start at Human Events in 1979 after graduating from Fairfield University in Connecticut and then working for the Travis County (Tex.) Tax Assessor. He has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows, including Fox News Channel, C-SPAN, America's Voice,The Jim Bohannon Show, Fox 5, WUSA 9, America's Radio News Network and is also a frequent contributor to the BBC -- and has appeared on France24 TV and German Radio. He is a past president of the Georgetown Kiwanis Club, past member of the St. Matthew's Cathedral's Parish Council, and secretary of the West End Friends of the Library. He is a recipient of the William A. Rusher Award for Journalistic Excellence and was named Journalist of the Year by the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2002. John Gizzi is also a credentialed correspondent at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He has questioned two IMF managing directors, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Christine LaGarde, and has become friends with international correspondents worldwide. Johnâ??s email is JGizzi@EaglePub.Com

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