Possibilities for Mideast Peace

(Washington Post) George P. Shultz - Security for Israel is clearly essential for fruitful negotiations. So far nothing has worked. Those who seek to eliminate Israel have regarded efforts at Oslo, Camp David II, and elsewhere as proof that terrorism works and that every Israeli step toward peace is really a sign of weakness. Now a security barrier is under construction. By means of a largely insurmountable obstacle to terrorist ambitions, Israel will once again have demonstrated that it cannot be defeated either militarily or by terrorist violence. The confirmation of this fact is essential. When Palestinians face the fact that terrorism has become both ineffective and self-destructive, that realization may enable them to take a major step toward peace. The war in Iraq has eliminated a rogue state that repeatedly acted to disrupt progress toward peace. Operation Iraqi Freedom is the keystone of an effort that is indispensable to international security: the transformation of the Middle East from repression and failure to responsive governance and economic opportunity. The conventional wisdom has it backwards: A solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not a condition for positive change across the Middle East, but it can come as part of, and as a consequence of, that change.

2004-04-14 00:00:00

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