Thursday, February 10, 2005

The Golden Opportunity

Smiley, the left brain of The Daily Demarche, blogs this evening on the unique opportunity we now have to "solve" the Middle East thicket, in particular, the Palestinian issue. The opportunity arises out of the confluence of a straight talking US President and successful elections in Iraq and Afghanistan, coupled with the serendipitous departure from the scene of Yasser Arafat. Smiley notes that these events have given rise to an atmosphere in which we might actually see some movement on the resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Indeed, events seem to bear this out, with the truce announced between the Palestinian Authority and Israel earlier this week, followed by the sacking of several Palestinian Authority commanders today following a mortar attack on Israeli settlements in Gaza.

This all looks good so far. Call me only cautiously optimistic, though, remembering as I do the similar hopes that followed on the heels of the Gulf War in 1991. What we actually got then was Oslo, followed by the Intifada, followed by Palestinians dancing in the streets on September 11, 2001.

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