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Israel and the US are still focused on the wrong issues

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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 07:06 PM
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Israel and the US are still focused on the wrong issues
We have a very simple choice before us in the Middle East: we can get serious about working together to give the people of this region a chance to live normal lives in peace and security; or we can all act silly in the ways of provincial chieftains, as many public figures in Lebanon, Syria, Iran, Israel and the US have done in recent days.

The chances of achieving a region-wide peace in the Middle East are slim to non existent right now, because the key non-Arab players are focusing on the wrong issues. They are trying to manage or eliminate the symptoms of our region's tensions instead of addressing the root causes. Hizbullah and Iran are among the best examples of this.

Israel and the US are obsessed with disarming Hizbullah and confronting Iran. But a quarter of a century ago neither of these issues existed. How Hizbullah and Iran became so problematic is worth recalling. Until 1979 Iran under the Shah was a close ally and friend of the US and Israel, and Hizbullah was not even born. What happened in the three decades from the mid-70s to today? Many things. The most consistent one was that we all allowed the Arab-Israeli conflict to fester unresolved. Its bitterness kept seeping out from its Palestine-Israel core to corrode many other dimensions of the region.

The constant clashes between Israel and Lebanon since the late 1960s derived heavily from the unresolved Palestinian-Israeli conflict that started with the 1948 war. Since Iran's 1979 revolution Islamist revolutionary zeal has found effective expression in its close association with Hizbullah, which Iranian revolutionary guards were instrumental in establishing and training. Tehran's assistance to Hamas today follows a similar pattern. A non-Arab power such as Iran exploits the resentment against Israel and the US throughout the Arab world to make political inroads into Arab regions. If the Arab-Israeli conflict had been resolved decades ago, Iran would not have this opportunity.

Guardian UK

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Marrak Donating Member (332 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 07:10 PM
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1. Also, we wouldn't have
GWOT, Iraq, etc!
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