The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Monday, April 15, 2002  


The Boston Globe's Jeff Jacoby thinks so.

In an essay entitled, "Let Israel Fight Its Way to Peace," published in the April 14 edition of the Globe, Jacoby leads with this insight:

"If the definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result, Secretary of State Powell's mission to the Middle East is crazy. 'However long the Israeli incursions continue,' he said on Thursday, 'the problem will still be there. We will still need to go to a negotiating process that will lead to peace.' Even for Powell, with his long history of strategic misjudgments, this is insane." [Ed.: Emphasis added.]

We wish we could say that the essay improves from that initial low point, but it doesn't.

"After eight years of a 'peace process' [Ed.: Note the scare quotes.] that has slaughtered more Israelis than the 1967 war did, it should be clear even to Powell that negotiating with Arafat leads only to bloodshed," Jacoby wrote.

Leaving aside the fact that Palestinians also have died during this period, along with U.N. peacekeeping troops, U.S. Marines (in Lebanon), U.S. Navy sailors (in Yemen), foreign journalists, humanitarian and church officials, among others, we wonder why Jacoby's view of the conflict is so narrow.

We ask how many Egyptians have died since Egypt signed peace agreements with Israel? How many Jordanians have died since Jordan made peace with Israel? It appears that negotiations with these once-hostile states have prevented bloodshed.

What should be clear, even to Jacoby, is that not negotiating with Arafat, and in particular, not negotiating with Arafat in good faith, leads only to bloodshed.

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