Thursday, May 13, 2004

A Few Words on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

In my previous few posts, I made the assumption that Baker and Carters' approach to the Mideast conflict were "bad for Israel." This seems to be a view that most American Jews share, and, as far as I can tell from the comments here, so do most readers of this blog.

Still, having raised the subject, I'm not comfortable leaving off without some sort of explanation.

The problem with the Baker/Carter/Clinton approach is that it hasn't been successful. In fact, it's been quite the opposite of successful. As a Jew, and someone with friends and relatives in Israel, I'm particularly concerned about Israel's security. I don't want to see it compromised in exchange for promises of peace that will never be fulfilled. The status quo isn't good for Palestinians, either.

The reason for my general avoidance of discussions of Israeli policy is that I don't pretend to know how to bring an end to the present crisis. I do, however, have some idea of what a successful approach might look like. It's not my idea, of course. You'll find it outlined in these two articles, by Natan Sharansky and Omar Karsou.

In Sharansky's 2002 article, he praises Bush for expressing views similar to his own. You'll find approximately the same ideas in this summary of Kerry's views on the Middle East (thank you, Avi). Kerry attempts to differentiate himself from Bush by stressing "active U.S. involvement" in the process.

In the end, as I've said before, I doubt there's much the U.S. can do, one way or the other. This matter is in the hands of Israel and the Palestinian people.


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