Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Edward R. F. Sheehan on Bush's failure to move peace forward in the Israel-Palestine zone

Sheehan is a well-established author and former diplomat who has been watching U.S. diplomacy between Arabs and Israelis for decades His 1976 book was a critical appraisal of Henry Kissinger's peacemaking efforts. While he does not use he word "charade," what he accurately describes is a Bush initiative that is utterly lacking in seriousness notwithstanding Rice's periodic "forlorn" visits to the region.
To be fair, Bush's predecessor did not leave a particularly enviable record either. Clinton and his crew only appear worthy by comparison with Bush's failed efforts.
Both presidents proved unwilling to squeeze Israel, as though the whole problem rests with the the Palestinians. As Sheehan notes, unless a U.S. president is ready to play hardball with Israel, there is no reason to expect that the belligerents to do the right thing. Also, a deal with the Palestinians will have to include Hamas. That is obvious to Sheehan, as it should be to any serious official wishing to reach a settlement.
If there is no settlement, and Sheehan sees only a slim chance should the new president get serious. Otherwise, his informants expect a new campaign of violence by the Palestinians--Intifadah III.

Bush's doomed Mideast peace efforts - The Boston Globe

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