The Economist's Indecent Proposal

(Jerusalem Post) Dore Gold - Israel was the focus of a recent cover story in The Economist, the prestigious British newsweekly. The magazine's main editorial puts forward the thesis that unless Obama takes bold diplomatic moves in the peace process, there is a real risk of war. The Economist then concludes that Obama, along with the rest of the world, must impose a solution on the parties. Most fundamentally, it confuses the main source of potential escalation and war, Iran, with the diplomatic target of the peace initiative it recommends, the Palestinians. Historically, relations with the Palestinians and tensions with Iran's proxies, Hizbullah and Hamas, have been on two completely separate tracks. In April 1996, while Prime Minister Shimon Peres was negotiating with the Palestinians, the Israeli-Lebanese border deteriorated and Israel was forced to launch Operation Grapes of Wrath against Hizbullah. Again in 2008, when Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was in advanced negotiations with both Abbas and the Syrians (through the Turks), there was a massive escalation of rocket fire by Hamas that resulted in Operation Cast Lead. There was simply no correlation between Israeli-Palestinian diplomacy and the military escalation with organizations supported by Iran. The writer is president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and a former ambassador to the UN.

2011-01-10 09:24:58

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