Peres Views Middle East Trends

(New York Times) Steven Erlanger - Inthe post-Cold War world, the old divisions have largely disappeared, so the primary divide is now "terror and anti-terror," says Shimon Peres, 81, Israel's vice prime minister. "This forces the Palestinians and Arabs to take sides. They cannot remain neutral." Peres says the larger trend away from authoritarian rule is clear. "Even if you don't know who won in Iraq, you know that Saddam lost," he said. "He was the Stalin and Hitler of the Middle East, and you can't go back to Stalin and Hitler." Among Israelis, support for the U.S.-led war in Iraq was overwhelming. Peres views it as a catalyst, forcing countries like Syria to pay more attention. "If the Americans just make declarations, the Middle East would swallow them," he said. "But they are afraid that behind these declarations there may be a stick."

2005-03-21 00:00:00

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