Bold Script, Weak Actors

[International Herald Tribune] Henry A. Kissinger - The Palestinian peace process now under way is being driven by the assumption that the parties can be led to accept the so-called Taba Plan of 2000. It provides for Israeli withdrawal to essentially the 1967 borders (with minor rectifications), retaining only the settlements around Jerusalem but narrowing the corridor between two principal Israeli cities, Haifa and Tel Aviv, to about 20 miles. The to-be-created Palestinian state would be compensated by some equivalent Israeli territory. Several moderate Arab states have been extraordinarily reluctant to come to Annapolis. If they appear, will they treat their presence as their principal contribution for which one-sided pressure on Israel is deemed an appropriate concession? The peace process should not be driven by the U.S. political calendar. If either America's Arab or Israeli friends are asked to take on more than they are able to withstand, there's the risk of another, even larger blow-up. The strength of the forces of moderation depends on the standing of America in the region. No more in Palestine than in Iraq can American influence be fostered by an image of retreat.

2007-10-10 01:00:00

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