The Arab Spring and the Palestine Distraction

(Wall Street Journal) Josef Joffe - "The plight of the Palestinians has been a root cause of unrest and conflict in the region," insisted Turkish President Abdullah Gul in the New York Times last week. Writing in the Financial Times, former U.S. National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft intoned: "The nature of the new Middle East cannot be known until the festering sore of the occupied territories is removed." Shoddy political theories - ideologies, really - never die because they are immune to the facts. The Palestine-first strategy reverses cause and effect. It is not the core conflict that feeds the despotism; it is the despots who fan the conflict. Divert attention and energy from oppression and misery at home by rousing the masses against the enemy abroad. Freedom does not need the enemy at the gate. Despots do, which is why they happily let the Palestinian sore fester for generations. The writer is senior fellow at the Freeman-Spogli Institute for International Studies and a fellow at the Hoover Institution, both at Stanford.

2011-04-29 00:00:00

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