Israel Experts Doubt Focusing on Israel-Arab Conflict Will Help in Iraq

[AP/International Herald Tribune] Israeli experts on Wednesday cast doubt on a central thesis of the Baker-Hamilton commission report about U.S. policy in Iraq - that a concerted effort to resolve the Israel-Arab conflict would improve the situation in Iraq. Gerald Steinberg from the BESA think tank at Bar-Ilan University said, "It repeats the mistakes of the past without learning anything from them." In the 1990s, when Baker was secretary of state, he pushed hard for Israel to make concessions to the Palestinians, and once grew so frustrated with Israel's refusal that he told Israel's leaders, while testifying before a Congressional committee, to call the White House when they were serious about peace - and gave the White House switchboard phone number. Efraim Inbar, director of the BESA Center, said, "Iran is not interested in Israel and the Palestinians. The main issue of regional stability is the nuclearization of Iran, not whether the Palestinians are fighting a low-intensity conflict with Israel."

2006-12-08 01:00:00

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