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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

March 19, 2003

Iraq and the Israeli-Palestinian "Peace Process."

As usual, the perspicacious Martin Kimel has it right
Echoing the Europeans, the NY Times blames the administration's failure to pass its desired UN resolution in part on the president's reluctance to press harder for an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement:

In the Middle East, Washington shortsightedly stepped backed from the worsening spiral of violence between Israel and the Palestinians, ignoring the pleas of Arab, Muslim and European countries. If other nations resist American leadership today, part of the reason lies in this unhappy history.

But what exactly would the Times editorial board have had Washington do? Bill Clinton put his personal prestige on the line, working tirelessly to achieve peace, only to have the Palestinians respond to his herculean efforts, and those of Ehud Barak, with the unprecedent wave of terrorism known as the intifada. What exactly was the current administration to do when a sizable percentage -- perhaps even a majority -- of Palestinians see the goal of the current intifada as the destruction of the Jewish state?

It is a shibboleth that we would have peace in the Middle East today if only President Bush had been more actively engaged in peacemaking efforts. A true and lasting peace cannot be imposed from without, as much as some may wish they could do so. The Israelis are waiting for the Palestinians to decide that they want to resolve this awful conflict peacefully, as they pledged to do when they signed the Oslo accords