Failure to Launch

[New Republic] Suzanne Nossel - Condoleezza Rice and her boss have finally heeded calls to "re-engage" in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. But Rice's shuttle diplomacy efforts aren't working - and they shouldn't be expected to. For reasons of timing, personality, and politics (both in the region and back home), current efforts to jumpstart the peace process won't go anywhere. The facts on the ground are getting worse, not better. Hamas is borrowing from Hizbullah's playbook by stockpiling weapons and explosives in underground lairs, waiting (and planning) for a major confrontation. The organization is also arraying its own counterweight to the Fatah-controlled Palestinian security force, an irregular militia that Israel claims is being trained in Iran. Negotiations over the release of an Israeli soldier captured last summer have stalled. The idea that a graceful exit from Iraq could come in the form of an Israeli-Palestinian breakthrough has never made sense. The Iraq Study Group's report maintained that the region's conflicts were "inextricably linked," but it failed to explain how the decades-long Israel-Palestinian conflict was suddenly going to get settled in time to help calm three years of sectarian strife in Iraq.

2007-04-05 01:00:00

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