Settle the Deportee Question

On his maiden visit to the Middle East as United States secretary of state, Warren Christopher should lay the foundation for the revival of the Arab-Israeli peace talks without the deportees' cloud hanging over the next round of peace negotiations. It is far better to postpone the resumption of the peace talks by another two or three months, provided that the question of the expulsion is settled and all the deportees have been returned. The US-Israel agreement to allow 100 deportees to return home, with the rest to follow suit by the end of 1993, is flawed and impractical.

April 11, 1994 Read more

Israel Faces Likely Leadership Change Amidst Peace Initiative

The opposition to Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and his handling of Arab-Israeli peace negotiations is gaining in momentum in Israel. Benjamin Natanyahu, recently elected Likud leader and author of a new book, "A Place Among Nations" (Bantam), is leading the fight to topple Mr. Rabin, vowing not to surrender strategic territory, even if that means the collapse of the peace process.

May 26, 1993 Read more

Egypt Faces Pressure from Islamic Neighbors

Egypt is in danger of falling into the hands of Islamic fundamentalists, though not soon. Islamic groups in and outside Egypt, with the active support of Iran, view the fall of President Hosni Mubarak's regime as the key to the success of the Islamic revolution.

April 26, 1993 Read more

Save Mideast Peace Process

If the format for the Arab-Israeli negotiations does not change it will be only a matter of time before the whole peace process collapses. Peace will be the ultimate victim of Palestinian violence and Israeli shortsightedness. Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin approached the peace process as if there is no terrorism and fought terrorism as if there is no peace process. This has not worked. The expulsion of some 400 Islamic fundamentalist Palestinians, the way the expulsion was handled, and the wave of terrorism that followed shows clearly that Mr. Rabin cannot isolate terrorism from the peace process. Rabin's insistence that there is no military option to terrorism suggests that there might be some kind of political solution. Rabin, however, has not advanced any new political initiative toward the Palestinians since he took office. Failing to do so, and in forsaking a military option to deal with terror, Rabin has simply handed Hamas a strategic victory. His policy strengthened Hamas and resolve for a continued jihad. This creates internal security havoc, demoralizes the Israelis and jeopardizes the p eace process – precisely what Hamas has aimed for.

April 15, 1993 Read more

Challenge, Opportunity in Mideast Peace Quest

The resumption of the Arab-Israeli peace negotiations, for the first time under the Clinton administration's auspices, and following a five-month-long suspension, presents a challenge and an opportunity for President Clinton to advance significantly the peace process toward a solution. What may come out of the new round of talks, analysts agree, will depend on (a) the readiness of the United States to persuade, push, or pressure the parties to make important concessions to produce interim agreements, and more important, (b) the ability of the US to conceptualize how a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace would look in the face of continuing regional instability. Without such an all-encompassing conception, the US will be reacting to proposals and counterproposals that reflect each participant's separate agenda.

April 3, 1993 Read more

Don’t React in Persian Gulf – Shape Events

The punitive air strike on Iraqi military installations will certainly not put an end to Saddam Hussein's provocations. But it could be the catalyst for a badly needed United States strategy in the Persian Gulf. The great danger to Western interests in the Middle East emanates from Iran, not Iraq. Combating the Iranian Islamic fundamentalism which threatens the stability of many Arab states, restoring the traditional balance of power between Iran and Iraq, and fostering regional stability, must be the Clinton Gulf strategy. Due to size, composition, and proximity, Iraq is in a unique position to check Iran's export of Islamic fervor. This was the rationale for supporting Iraq during the Iraq-Iran war. The rationale is still valid.

January 25, 1993 Read more

Time for Israeli-PLO Talks

Opening direct talks with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) at this juncture in the Arab-Israeli peace negotiations could benefit Israel's short- and long-term interests and provide the peace process with renewed momentum. The United States should encourage such a move and in return bring pressure to bear on the PLO to demonstrate more flexibility. Excluding the PLO formally from past direct talks may have given Israel some room for political maneuverability and some gains in establishing the peace negotiating parameters. The growing strength of the Palestinian Islamic fundamentalists (Hamas), however, the perplexing direction that Israeli-Palestinian bilateral negotiations have taken, and the changing of administrations in Washington all raise a question as to whether Israel's interests and the prospects for peace are not better served through direct negotiations with the PLO.

December 11, 1992 Read more

United Jerusalem – A Catalyst for Peace

As Israel this month celebrates the 25th anniversary of a united Jerusalem, the Bush administration should look anew at the Jerusalem "experiment" and its impact on Israeli-Palestinian relations, and utilize it as a catalyst for a breakthrough in the peace negotiations.

June 24, 1992 Read more

Israel Should Withdraw Loan Guarantee Request

Israel should withdraw its request for $10 billion in loan guarantees and resort to other sources to finance the absorption of Soviet Jews. At stake is the United States-Israel special relationship – which could be irreparably damaged as a result of misguided policies in Washington and Jerusalem.

March 6, 1992 Read more
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