Friday, September 19, 2003

The Blasphemy of Evenhandedness

CSM has an editorial today pointing out that Americans need to debate (deliberate) on how the U.S. might best achieve peace petween Israel and Palestine. I have been thinking about this for some time now. It amazes me that there is such blind support for Israel in this country. Howard Dean was recently lambasted when calling for an "evenhanded" approach by the U.S. towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Why is this so controversial? If the United States government really wanted to foster peace between Israel and Palestine, I believe it could rather easily do so by putting significant pressure on BOTH peoples. This is simply a question of how committed the United States is to achieving peace there, and it appears it does not have the priority that has been given Iraq.

The United States could easily put down terrorist organizations in Palestine. It could easily arrange for the removal of Yasser Arafat. It could easily put substantial pressure on Israel to remove illegal settlements and adhere to UN Security Council resolutions calling for an end to the occupation of Palestine by Israeli forces. Israel receives something like one third of all U.S. foreign aid, a staggering amount in the billions of dollars. It is clear that we have the financial and political leverage to persuade the Israeli government to take such steps. Finally, the United States could easily lead or create a peacekeeping force in Palestine, something that would be absolutely necessary until the Palestinians can rebuild infrastructure and hold legitimate elections.

If the United States can topple two governments within a year, it most certainly can create stability in Palestine. Critics will claim that peace can not be imposed on these two peoples. Yet history has shown us that they are incapable of establishing peace on their own, and they are unlikely to do so until there is a buffering force between them.

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