Condi, Stay Home

[U.S. News] Mortimer B. Zuckerman - More harm and no good at all has come from the Middle East interventions of Secretary of State Condi Rice. She has been promoting an Israeli-Palestinian "political horizon" - the latest euphemism for a comprehensive agreement. It sounds fine, but it has no relationship to the realities on the ground; in fact, it merely perpetuates a harmful illusion. Both Mahmoud Abbas and Ariel Sharon advised that Hamas should not be allowed to take part in the election of '06 since Hamas had no intention of running a normal democracy but simply wanted to exploit Gaza as a base for a two-front war - one against Israel, the second against Palestinians loyal to Fatah. Condi Rice thought she knew better. Ditto with Israeli objections to turning over the strip of land between Gaza and Egypt, known as the Philadelphia corridor. Her insistence has enabled Hamas to import tons of ammunition. Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists move freely between Gaza and Egypt, and from there to Syria, Lebanon, and Iran for training. Hamas continues to manufacture huge amounts of weapons and continues to launch Kassam rockets into Israel on a daily basis. The Bush administration wants someone to make an agreement with - and there isn't anybody. Nobody on the Palestinian side, for sure. Only the Arab countries - Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Jordan - can provide enough cover and pressure for the Palestinians to make an agreement, but they don't want to. The Saudis prefer to look as if they want peace, rather than working to achieve it. The "political horizon" Rice sees is a mirage of her own making, an effort that is bound to stall, diminishing American prestige and credibility.

2007-05-21 01:00:00

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