Monday, March 26, 2007

Cycle of Violence

Commenting on prospect of real movement towards a Mid-East Peace Summit (primarily between Israel and Saudi Arabia), Daniel Drezner makes a sobering point:
If this gains any momentum at all, I predict there will be an attack in Israel or the occupied territories. The attack will be designed to inflame the Israeli political establishment or wreck the Palestinian coalition government. There are simply too many armed groups in the region with a vested interest in maintaining the festering status quo.

From which Kevin Drum draws an important implication:
He's right, of course, and this is what makes the whole kabuki dance so frustrating: everybody knows this is exactly how it will play out, but nobody is willing to acknowledge it up front and agree to keep forging ahead even when the extremists on the other side do something inflammatory. Unfortunately, the extremists know this perfectly well.

This is true, and I think it is the only way for progress to be made. A Palestinian government which does not recognize Israel cannot be negotiated with (what are they to negotiate over?). But if Saudi Arabia is serious about genuine rapprochement with the Jewish State, the leaders of both countries need to show the courage to pursue peace, even if it means pushing through the obvious and inevitable attempts to sabotage it.

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