The Real Mideast "Poison"

(Washington Post) Charles Krauthammer - Kofi Annan's personal representative in Iraq now singles out the policies of the world's one Jewish state - and only democratic state in the Middle East - as "the great poison in the region." The Egyptian government daily Al-Gumhuriya is less diplomatic, explaining in an article by its deputy editor that, "It is the Jews, with their hidden, filthy hands, who...are behind all troubles, disasters, and catastrophes in the world," including, of course, the attacks of Sept. 11 and the Madrid bombings. It is in this kind of atmosphere that Israel offers unilateral withdrawal from Gaza - uprooting 7,000 Jews, turning over to the Palestinians 21 settlements with their extensive infrastructure intact, and creating the first independent Palestinian territory in history - and is almost universally attacked. The notion that Israel will not be forced to return to the 1967 armistice lines goes back 37 years - to 1967 itself. The Johnson administration was instrumental in making sure that the governing document for a Middle East settlement - Security Council Resolution 242 - called for Israeli withdrawal to "secure and recognized boundaries," not "previous boundaries." To argue that neither Israel nor the U.S. can act in the absence of negotiations is to give the Palestinians a veto over any constructive actions. This is a prescription for perpetual violence and perpetual stalemate.

2004-04-30 00:00:00

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