The Rittenhouse Review

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

Monday, April 15, 2002  


Peter Preston has an interesting essay in today's Guardian looking at the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in comparison with the history of Cyprus.

In the same piece, Preston repeats a truth so basic, but so untenable to our punditocracy, that it bears repeating:

"'[P]eace' here has no value unless it leads inescapably to a solution which involves the dismantling of Israeli settlements on the West Bank and the return of the occupied territories to a viable Palestinian state protected against instant invasion.

"Will that happen? Nothing Ariel Sharon's spokesmen say gives any such hope. The 'negotiating table' may be routinely hymned, but there's nothing worthwhile on its menu. Sharon has always put the settlers first. Ehud Barak, for all his zeal, failed to produce an offer which Arafat could sell to his people. [Ed.: Meanwhile, over at, Barak's "plan" continues to bask in glowing praise.] The massive demonstrations of the intifada followed naturally. Israel hasn't yet confronted the totality of the concessions it will have to make. Jaw-jaw is not an alternative to war-war, merely its precursor." [Ed.: Emphasis added.]

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