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October 30, 2003
U.S. Slowly Scaling Back Role in Israel

The above headline is quite misleading; the US isn't pulling away from Israel, they're telling the Palestinians to start meeting their obligations before expecting anything else from us:

Call us when you're serious about disarming militants — that's the message Palestinians are getting from U.S. mediators who have scaled back their presence in the region. The apparent disengagement comes amid a deadlock in the U.S.-led "road map" peace plan, Washington's growing troubles in Iraq, and the distractions of the U.S. presidential election campaign.

Unless the AP defines Israel as inclusive of the West Bank an Gaza Strip. Now that would be news!

Israeli and Palestinian critics warn that reduced U.S. involvement will likely lead to more bloodshed, further harm America's image in the Arab world, and in the end bring on another round of U.S. mediation.

With the sides here so far apart on the issues, many previous peace moves have required active U.S. mediation — or pressure — to move forward.

But an ambitious effort by the former Clinton administration to broker a comprehensive peace settlement collapsed three years ago, and the Bush administration was initially reluctant to involve itself, fearing a quagmire.

Well, for those who don't know the difference, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a quagmire, and for one reason: the Palestinians want the annihilation of the state of Israel, if not all the Israelis themselves. You cannot expect Israel to negotiate a peace with Palestinians until they get serious about recognizing Israel's right to exist and start taking forceful action against those groups who attack Israeli citizens. After six years of Intifada -- which resulted from the Clinton Administration's "ambitious effort", putting Arafat back into the center of negotiations -- the Palestinians still haven't taken even the basic steps of organizing their security functions under civilian control.

At this point, the only positive steps the Bush administration can take is to stay in contact with the Palestinians and let Israel defend itself aggressively in order to motivate the Palestinians to do something. Bush could force Qureia back to the negotiating table, but to do what? More promises that they won't keep? And while everyone sits at the table and the AP gets to feel good about "ambitious efforts", the terrorists will still be blowing up buses and pizzerias. If anything, Oslo proves that negotiating with fanatical terrorists is a waste of time. The only way to stop them is to kill them and cut off their funding and state support. Anything less is Munich all over again.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at October 30, 2003 7:06 AM

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