Thursday, February 24, 2005

The Palestinian Predicament

Was Yasser Arafat a terrorist? Was Arafat a peace activist? Where is the grey area between the supposed Palestinian terrorist and the Nobel Peace Prize recipient?

It would be a safe bet to say that for everyday I have been alive an article has appeared in the local paper regarding the conflict between Israel and Palestine. It would also be safe to say that everyday of my life I grow increasingly confused. In the introduction to U.S. Policy on Palestine: Wilson to Clinton, editor Michael Suleiman addresses what I believe to be the cause of my confusion:
The making and execution of foreign policy decisions are affected by a number of factors of unequal weight. Which particular factor plays a more critical part depends on the actual situation...the personalities and backgrounds of the decision makers, especially those in the highest positions, certainly influence foreign policy decision making.
From Wilson to Clinton (yes, I am excluding the current president), the varying methods of addressing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are far-ranging. I'm not sure I've quite pinpointed Carter's policy (I'm not sure he has either), but I've concluded that no two U.S. presidents had a similar policy. Though the U.S. policy is pro-Israel, Eisenhower's policy was drastically different from Nixon's and George H.W. Bush's policy different from Truman's. No wonder Americans can't quite understand what exactly the U.S. policy on Palestine is.

I'm not going to offer a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict nor refer you to the biblical support of who the land belongs to-- which is essentially the problem and the reason the U.S. is involved, but I will recommend a book: Blood Brothers by Elias Chacour. As Americans we are constantly open to the pro-Israel news and commentary, but Chacour's book offers the Palestinian perspective.

Reading current news is deja vu with this issue. The death of Arafat,a s much as I hate to say it, hasn't really benefited the situation. Cease fires, peace agreements, and road maps to peace are merely sentiments in a situation that will find no resolution.


OXEN said...

Was Yasser Arafat a terrorist?A resounding YES!!!

OXEN said...

Errrrrrrrr........BLOGGER needs to lets us use. < br> or < p>

OXEN said...

I agree w/ you on your point that this is a "situation that will find no resolution."

Until Abu Mazen tries to reign in and punish Hizbullah Leaders for saying things like this there's no hope.

Nick Speth said...

I had hope right after Arafat died, but I'm beginning to lose it again. There's simply too much hatred between these people, and you're right Oxen, until Abu Mazen starts really cracking down on Hizbullah, and some of the other groups, this won't get better.

OXEN said...

Leaving Gaza
Charles Krauthammer