Monday, January 14, 2008

A Reminder: Peace Will Only Come When the Arabs Agree to It

This is excerpted from the Miami Herald. It serves as a reminder that outside involvement, no matter how well-intentioned, will not bring about peace.

First, Enemies Must Agree

Uri Dromi

The Camp David summit in 1978 could not have happened if Moshe Dayan, Israel's foreign minister, had not flown secretly to Morocco in 1976 to meet with Egyptian Foreign Minister Hassan al-Tohami. Following the understanding reached between the two, Egyptian President Sadat made his historic visit to Jerusalem a year later. President Carter's impact later, at Camp David, was only possible once the Egyptians and the Israelis had decided to make peace. The Americans didn't have any role at the start of the Oslo peace process, which only happened after Israelis and Palestinians had secretly met.

Later, at Camp David in 2000, Clinton strove to broker a final settlement of the conflict, but failed because the Palestinians, led by Yasser Arafat, weren't ready for the deal. So, in the wake of Bush's visit, both Palestinians and Israelis should go back to the arduous task of making peace between our peoples. When we're ready, we should call the Americans to join the ceremony.

As explained, the breakthrough that led to the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel came on the initiative of the two parties, without any American involvement.

Indeed, Jimmy Carter's administration, the same one which led to today's most dangerous development - the emergence of an extremist, radical Islamist regime in Iran bent on developing nuclear weapons - was clearly unhappy about Sadat's visit to Jerusalem, since it disrupted his plans for a multilateral conference that undoubtedly would have gummed up the works.

Unfortunately, Carter then put himself in the middle of the negotiations. This led to the dragging out of negotiations and a peace far colder than would likely have emerged had he stayed away from the process.

American and other outside involvement almost always amounts to pressuring Israel to make one-sided concessions which ultimately lead to more Arab intransigence and more Arab terrorism.

Peace will come when the Arabs decide to accept the existence of Israel and, as Golda Meir wisely observed, begin to love their children more than they hate the Israeli children.

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