Are Israelis simply too weary to make it in the long term? Why do Israelis and Palestinians deserve less than the Irish, the Cypriots, the Serbs, the Bosnians or the South Africans?
On the surface, it seems that the recent public quarrel between Israel and the Bush administration over Jewish settlement blocs in the West Bank could have been put off until Israelis and Palestinians get around to negotiating permanent borders.
Letters To The Editor.
He closed the cap on my gas tank, returned the nozzle and handed me a slip of paper.
"What's this?" I asked.
"A coupon for a car wash," he responded. "Kind of like a present." He smiled, dazzling me.
"Give me another present," I said, handing back the slip of paper. "Your phone number."
During the lamest duck days of his presidency, Bill Clinton hustled to cobble together a series of under-the-wire executive orders and pardons, but he was unable to secure The Grand Prize: a comprehensive peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
"You can't afford to sign up to a peace agreement that is all one-sided, meaning Israel takes all the risks," observed retired U.S. Admiral Leon A. Edney to small groups of Jewish leaders in Beverly Hills last week. "We need to find a way to live in peace with the Arab world, but it's not done with appeasement."
The Camp David summit looks like the boldest gamble by an Israeli leader since the founding father, David Ben-Gurion, declared the Jewish state in May 1948, to the rumble of invading Arab guns and the chattering teeth of his own querulous associates. Ehud Barak flew to the United States this week determined to make peace with the Palestinians, but with his coalition government and parliamentary support in tatters.
Signing a framework for a peace agreement with the Palestinians by the end of May will help Israel to reshape the strategic equation in the Middle East, according to Israel's deputy defense minister, Ephraim Sneh, who briefed 250 delegates and guests at the recent Labor Zionist Alliance biennial convention.