Monday, April 26, 2010

The Palestine Peace Distraction

Richard N. Haass writes in the Wall Street Journal about "how easy [it is] to exaggerate how central the Israel-Palestinian issue is and how much the U.S. pays for the current state of affairs." This runs contrary to President Obama's comments that resolution of the Middle East conflict is a national security interest and General David Petraeus's Congressional testimony that the conflict challenges America's ability "to advance our interests."

Haass writes,
"There are times one could be forgiven for thinking that solving the Palestinian problem would take care of every global challenge from climate change to the flu. But would it? The short answer is no. It matters, but both less and in a different way than people tend to think."

Why? Let's look at Iraq. The
"Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds are divided over the composition of the new government, how to share oil revenues, and where to draw the border between the Kurdish and Arab areas. The emergence of a Palestinian state would not affect any of these power struggles."

Don't forget Afghanistan. "Here the U.S. finds itself working against, as much as with, a weak and corrupt president who frustrates American efforts to build up a government that is both willing and able to take on the Taliban. Again, the emergence of a Palestinian state would have no effect on prospects for U.S. policy in Afghanistan or on Afghanistan itself."

And as for the main player itself, "any Palestinian state would materialize only amidst compromise." No return to the 1967 borders; a token right of return for Palestinians to Israel; Jerusalem will remain undivided and at most shared.

Not so cut and dry is it?

Read the full article here.

No comments: