/www.mattwelch.com/cgi-bin/mt/mt-comments.cgi?__mode=red&id=3374">Max Power at March 21, 2003 05:10 AM

Let's face it - there will be NO resolution to the Israel/Palestine issue unless there is a significant change of heart in the Arab populations in that region of the world. Period.

Arafat and his supporters rely upon the systematic outrage directed at Israel by the other Arab governments in Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, etc. If the game plan by the Bush Administration (or Wolfowitz, if conspiring cabals are your sort of thing) is really to transform the region, I'd say (1) it's breathtaking in its boldness and risks and (2) probably the only real way to get the problem solved.

Anyone who thinks Israel and Palestine can somehow talk things out amongst themselves is a fool - just ask Bill Clinton, who probably tried every last trick in his book in an attempt to solve the problem. Why would Arafat agree to this, when a significant number of the people in his "nation" as well as in the area are told repeatedly that Israel is illegitimate?

I'd say the bet is that democratic Arab regimes won't instruct their citizens on a daily basis that Jews are vile and temporary occupiers of Palestinian land. Once the regional support for hatred is removed, then Arafat (or his successor) will realize the only way out is to negotiate.

I have my doubts as to whether or not it will work, but I think it's the only real way to bring peace to that region.

Posted by: Tim Irwin at March 21, 2003 06:41 AM

IIRC all an american ambassador has to do to be shown the door in Saudi is to be able to speak arabic. Yes, he was recalled but in response to Saudi pressure (this was pre-GWI). Can't have the foreigners breaking away from their handlers and finding out stuff on their own on the street now, can we?

Posted by: J S Allison at March 21, 2003 10:13 AM

Matt:

I agree with both points, but if you really want me to make book on a 5-grand wager, lets talk about the Angels repeating.

Posted by: Steve Smith at March 21, 2003 03:06 PM
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