International Information Programs
Office of Research Issue Focus Foreign Media Reaction

January 10, 2003

January 10, 2003




**  Israeli outlets split on best policy as Arabs warn "violence breeds only violence."

**  London-Tel Aviv division grows following PM Sharon's "hasty decision" to prevent Palestinian attendance at London reform conference.

**  "U.S. pressure" restrained Israeli reaction to suicide bombings.

**  Many focus on attacks' effect on Israeli election.



Israelis remain 'without a glimmer of hope' after latest bombings--  Israeli outlets declared that the two suicide attacks in Tel Aviv "strewed devastation, fear and bereavement" but were divided on how to respond.  Conservative dailies heaped additional blame on the "Oslo debacle" and demanded PM Sharon "desist from publicly supporting the establishment of a Palestinian state."  Liberal papers said Sharon "cannot win the conflict by force" and is not prepared to end it "by means of negotiations."  Arab outlets as usual blamed Sharon and other "racist enemies of peace and stability" for triggering the latest "martyrdom operations." 


British antipathy to 'foolish and self-defeating' Sharon heats up--  British papers called Sharon the "main obstacle to reconciliation and progress" after he prevented Palestinians from attending a London conference in the wake of the bombings.  The conservative Times, while admitting "serious progress" at the conference was unlikely, criticized Israel's "undiplomatic slaps" to PM Tony Blair.  Israel's independent Ha'aretz added that "PA leaders...might reap diplomatic dividends" from what pluralist Yediot Aharanot called Sharon's "stupidest decision."  Conservative Israeli papers, meanwhile, disparaged the UK's "lack of diplomatic tact." 


Israel undertaking a 'low-profile' reaction due to concerns over offending U.S.--  Many dailies cited U.S. opposition to "any radical measures that would jeopardize an eventual offensive against Iraq" to explain Israel's "more restrained than usual" retaliation after the bombings.  Israel's Russian-language Novosty Nedely warned that increasing regional tension would only produce "stronger U.S. pressure and a tougher position" towards Israel.  Muslim countries' papers meanwhile blasted the West's continuing "apathy" towards what Saudi Arabia's moderate Okaz dubbed "Israeli terrorism, oppression and violence."  Syrian, Egyptian and Moroccan papers condemned Israel's "ethnic cleansing operations" in Palestine.


Arabs blast Israel's 'political racism'--  A centrist German daily noted the attacks reinforced how the "majority of Israelis support Sharon's tough course," not Labor candidate Amram Mitzna's "reconciliatory rhetoric."  Arab papers attributed the disqualification of two Israeli Arab MPs (since reinstated) to Zionist objectives to create "a 'pure Jewish state' that will deprive minority communities...of all political and national rights."  Others attacked Sharon's "extremist positions," saying they prove "Zionism doesn't advocate Arab-Jewish co-existence." 

EDITOR:  Ben Goldberg

EDITOR'S NOTE:  This analysis is based on 58 reports from 23 countries over 4-9 January 2003.  Editorial excerpts from each country are listed from the most recent date.




BRITAIN:  “How Gesture For Peace Ended In Row”


Richard Beeston wrote in the conservative Times (1/7):  "Britain’s credibility in the region has taken a huge knock.  Blair...has been left smarting after undiplomatic slaps in the face delivered on one cheek by Sharon...and the other by Netanyahu....  This should have been easy to predict and avoid....  Sharon stands to gain by being seen to act tough.  Equally, Arafat, can gain sympathy in the international community for being prepared to discuss reforms to his administration but being prevented from doing so.  The other participants at the conference probably know that they are not missing much, since few believed that any serious progress would be made in London.  Even Blair whose international prestige has been damaged, does not emerge empty-handed....  His very public spat with the Israelis may yet give him new credibility in the eyes of the Arab world.  The only losers are the Israelis and Palestinians themselves.  A modest initiative to discuss their conflict internationally has been thwarted.  It will be some time before Blair, or anyone else on the international stage, proposes holding another conference in London."


“Shortsighted Sharon”


The liberal Guardian stated (1/7):  "The decision by the government of Sharon to stop Palestinian delegates attending next week’s Middle East peace conference in London is foolish and self-defeating.  By this action, Sharon and Netanyahu have once again given Israel’s enemies the opportunity to portray it as the main obstacle to reconciliation and progess....  The Sharon government’s action in attempting to wreck the London conference also amounts to a slap in the face for Blair....  Straw was right to express Britain’s sharp displeasure.  Netanyahu’s response was as irrational as it was ungracious.  Sharon and colleagues appear determined to smear all Palestinians as 'terrorist'...but most Israelis...know very well it is nonsense....  War is not what vast majorities of thinking Palestinians and Israelis want or support.  They want political leaders with the courage and imagination to forge a path to peace and security founded on a just, lasting settlement.  They want the end of extremism; they want the beginning of a future.  So what does Sharon want?”


“Revive Peace Talks”


The independent Financial Times declared (1/7):  "Sharon was and is determined to pound the Palestinians into submission and to keep the majority of the occupied West Bank.  Bush, for his part, is inclined to paint all terrorism a single colour after Sept 11....  Palestinian land shrinks as Sharon expands illegal Jewish settlements.  This situation not only denies Palestinians justice.  It is not in the interests of Israelis yearning for security.  Nor will it help the U.S. prosecute the campaign against Islamist terrorists grouped around al-Qaida.  On the contrary, the Bush administration’s choice of Iraq as the fulcrum of action to transform the Middle East, while in effect allowing Israel to pursue what all Arabs and Muslims see as a colonial war against the Palestinians, is the greatest of political gifts to Osama bin Laden and his followers.  It is time for the U.S., with the support of the EU, Russia and the UN, to insist Israel and the Palestinians return to talks, based on the Taba parameters and last year’s Arab League peace plan....  A just settlement on such a basis would be the most powerful of weapons against the suicide bombers. It would also give the U.S. the legitimacy it so signally lacks in the Islamic world to crush al-Qaida."


FRANCE:  "No Middle East Truce During The Elections"


Right-of-center Les Echos editorialized (1/7):  "Israel's response to Sunday's terrorist attacks were more restrained than usual so as not to annoy the U.S. as it prepares for a major offensive against Iraq....  The infernal cycle of Middle East violence has not abated in spite of the coming elections.  Ariel Sharon is practically sure to be reelected...even if it has become clear that Likud's policy of repression to insure Israel's security is not working.  FM de Villepin is about to reiterate this message while insisting that peace cannot exist without a Palestinian state.  President Bush has adopted the same position, yet the U.S. and Europe seem to diverge: While Europe considers that the Middle East is the most dangerous place in the world today, the U.S. is deploying its troops around Iraq....  As a consequence the Middle East roadmap is being ignored by the Quartet...and the Palestinian cause is being used as an excuse by Saddam Hussein and Bin Laden neither of whom care much about the Palestinians."


"Israeli Response Curbed By Washington"


Pierre Prier wrote in right-of-center Le Figaro (1/7):  "Ariel Sharon's dilemma was proven once again after Sunday's terrible terrorist attacks.  The Israeli PM could neither respond forcefully nor guarantee the security of the Israelis....  Sharon was again forced to explain to those of his ministers asking for Arafat's expulsion that the U.S., Israel's number one ally and principal money source, did not approve of any radical measures that would jeopardize an eventual offensive against Iraq.  What President Bush does not need at this point is to be associated with the expulsion of a man who symbolizes the Palestinian nation."


GERMANY:  “Serving The Extremists”


Charles A. Landsmann wrote in centrist Der Tagesspiegel of Berlin (1/8):  “The terrorists helped Sharon’s campaign while weakening the position of the Labor Party....  Those behind the attacks knew that Sharon cannot retaliate militarily right now, because President Bush told him not to cause problems while Iraq is on the agenda.  Sharon ‘punished’ the Palestinians by prohibiting meetings of the Palestinian leadership that were to set the course for important reforms.  The Israeli government thus keeps the Palestinians from developing reform proposals while making reforms the condition for political negotiations.  In this manner, Sharon prevents democratization in the Palestinian areas...and destroys the possibility of a peaceful solution.”


"Terrorist Campaigners"


Center-left Sueddeutsche Zeitung of Munich observed (1/7):  "The double suicide bombing will help Sharon's election campaign....  It convinces the majority of Israelis that the country must stick to its policy of counter-violence and retaliation if it wants to end Palestinian terror.  The Palestinians' ability to keep entering Israel and set off bombs...reveals that Arafat's influence continues to wane....  His condemnation of suicide attacks is mere lip service.  Arafat's main goal is to present himself as a victim to the world.  The only problem is that nobody besides Arafat's people believes him anymore."


"Arafat's Responsibility"


Business-oriented Financial Times Deutschland of Hamburg opined (1/7):  "As always, Arafat has nothing to say about the bombings except that he and his leadership are not involved....  Meanwhile, the Al Aqsa brigades, closely affiliated with Arafat, are eager to claim responsibility for the attacks and even give out the names of the assassins.  Arafat's statement is not credible.  One cannot blame the Israeli voters for having lost confidence in the peace process under Arafat and turning to right-wing politicians.  The only reason Arafat has not been expelled yet is that Sharon does not want to lose moderate voters and has promised the U.S. not to escalate the situation unnecessarily....  Arafat has to decide where he stands.  If he seeks political acceptance in Israel and the West, he has to renounce terrorism once and for all."


"Campaigning With Fear"


Centrist Der Tagesspiegel of Berlin judged (1/6):  “Sharon’s party has lost ground in the polls because of a corruption scandal....  The Israeli leader knows there is only one way of changing the situation.  He must score points with the issue that made voters flock to his camp before the scandal -- the conflict with the Palestinians.  To put it differently: suicide bombings, like the ones that happened Sunday, are supposed to win the election for Sharon.  The majority of Israelis support Sharon’s tough course, and Labor Party head Mitzna has failed to win over hearts with reconciliatory rhetoric and promises for a Palestinian state.”


ITALY:  "Israel Will Eliminate Terrorists One By One"


Gian Micalessin said in pro-government, leading center-right Il Giornale (1/7):  "Indeed, the Sunday night attack...not only demonstrates that terrorism is blind.  Above all, it shows how impotent everyone is with regards to the threat.  (It shows) the impotence of the government, of the opposition, of the security services, and of those who, as Egypt, have been trying to convince the Palestinian armed groups to stop their attacks.  Indeed, the government is the first one to realize it has no arms.  Up until yesterday the only retaliation was the bombing of a factory in Gaza....  Indeed, after 27 months of Intifada all [possible] retaliatory actions have been carried out.  Indeed, they cannot play the last card, which is the expulsion or even the elimination of Arafat....  With the attack on Iraq and the general elections in Israel near, the Israeli PM cannot allow himself to  break the promise he made to President Bush not to touch the Palestinian leader."


BELGIUM:  "Israel Restrains its Reactions"


Baudouin Loos noted in left-of-center Le Soir (1/7):  "After the Tel Aviv suicide attack that left 24 dead, Israel opted for a rather low profile, anticipating American pressure: President Bush, focused on his invasion plans in Iraq, does not want to be bothered in the region by actions that might increase anti-American feelings that are already largely present.  Besides, Israel is currently negotiating an exceptional $12 billion America aid package."


BULGARIA:  "Poisoning The Hope For Peace"


Socialist-affiliated Duma commented (1/7):  "The PA is trying to carry on with the dialogue, which could lead to the creation of an independent Palestinian state, but Islamic radicals are poisoning each hope for peace with terrorist acts.  In the long run and having in mind the up-coming elections in Israel, the paradox is that the Islamic radicals, with their bloody attacks against the peaceful citizenry are helping Sharon and the Likud party stay in power."


IRELAND:  "Fallout From Tel Aviv Atrocity"


The liberal Irish Times editorialized (1/8):  "Israel has responded to the latest suicide bombing atrocity, in which 23 people died and 100 were injured in Tel Aviv, by striking out at international political attempts to get the peace process with the Palestinians going again....  Such a strategy is more likely to encourage terrorism than prevent it. In deference to United States concerns that a massive military retaliation similar to the Ramallah operation six months ago would reduce Arab support for an attack on Iraq, the Israeli government has decided to prevent a political and diplomatic revival of efforts to tackle the principal source of instability in the region....  It is a dreadful impasse athwart the most dangerous conflict in the Middle East. The US administration has been very reluctant to take such initiatives in the belief that a successful war against Iraq would create the conditions in which to pursue and reach an overall regional peace. That highly debatable assumption adds another layer of instability to the region. A war fought without a constructive engagement on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would bring fresh dangers. Mr Blair should persevere with his initiative in spite of these setbacks and deserves support for his efforts."


"Sharon Faces Dilemma On Bombing"


Peter Hirschberg wrote in the liberal Irish Times (1/6):  "But because of the proximity of the election, the fact that yesterday's attack was in the heart of Tel Aviv, and the high death toll...the Prime Minister might consider more wide-ranging action.  With the elections so close, Mr. Sharon does not want to be portrayed by Israel's far-right as being soft on the Palestinians....  Now, even more so, Mr. Sharon will be acutely aware of a firm American request that he not take any drastic measures that might destabilise the region on the eve of a possible strike against Saddam Hussein."


POLAND:  “Blowing Up Their Own Future”


Dawid Warszwski wrote in liberal Gazeta Wyborcza (1/8):  “It is true that an indirect impetus for the [Palestinian] attacks is the burden of living under occupation and the desire to take revenge for Israeli repression. But the understood sympathy for the fate of Palestinians should not translate into tolerance for their leaders who consciously rejected peace two years ago in Camp David, and who consciously educate their youth to kill. It is not true that the Palestinians have no other weapon but terror. The Israeli government pledges that once terror stops and those responsible for terror step down, negotiations will resume. There is no doubt that, if such conditions were met but Israel nevertheless hesitated, it would change its mind under the pressure from the U.S. - pressure which is a strategic necessity to quell this conflict....  Occupied and repressed, the Palestinians care not a bit for the fate of Israeli victims. When will they understand that with every attack their future is also being blown up?”


SPAIN:  "Palestinian Immobilization, An Unfair Reprisal"


Independent El Mundo declared (1/8):   "The collective suffering of all the inhabitants of the West Bank will not relieve an ounce the pain of the relatives of Israeli victims.  Problems are piling up for Prime Minister Sharon on the road to elections.  Investigators, who are studying in detail possible irregularities in his political financing, are keeping him against the ropes.  His mood does not seem to be the most appropriate to making well-balanced decisions.  Palestinians' freedom of movement should be restored as soon as possible."


"Massacre In Tel-Aviv"


Conservative ABC stated (1/6):  "The raving race of extremists is leading the Palestinian people towards disaster and giving justification for Sharon to keep up a policy of collective repression, which, although giving him political benefits, above all in the U.S....  Bush should observe the situation with prudence and in all its broad scope, and try to ensure that its Israeli ally doesn't become another problem."




ISRAEL:  "Sharon's Pawnbrokers"


Diplomatic correspondent Aluf Benn wrote in independent Ha'aretz (1/9):  "The support of U.S. President Bush has strengthened Sharon's rule to this day. In exchange, Sharon scattered agreements 'in principle' and positive signals about a Palestinian state and the American initiatives, from the Mitchell Plan to the Bush Speech and the 'road map,' and refrained from expelling Yasser Arafat and reoccupying Gaza.  That was enough for the Administration to buy some quiet in Europe and the Arab world on the way to Iraq.  But what will happen on the 'day after'?....  If Washington decides the time has come to cash in the mortgage and demand a settlement freeze and a renewal of the negotiations, Sharon can expect to face a very difficult time.  He knows well that the road map leads in one direction: to the internationalization of the conflict and the 1967 borders.  And as opposed to his rule that 'there are no free lunches' in political life, he's been forced to ask for a huge aid package from the U.S.  He can only hope the Americans make do with lip service about a political settlement, as they have until now, and not try to impose one."


"Battle For Survival"


Commentator Sima Kadmon noted in mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot Aharonot (1/9):  "An earthquake--there are no more accurate words to describe what is happening in the Likud.  The Likud, headed by Ariel Sharon, is moving from a mode of restraint to a battle for survival.  Of to be or not to be.  In less than a month, the gap of about 20 seats between Likud and Labor has shrunk to a gap that can be counted on the fingers of one hand.  This is no longer a fall. Not even a crash.  This is absolute lack of faith in the man and in the party....  If...the next polls show that the Likud has gone below 30 seats, these elections may be the most dramatic upheaval of all times.  As of this moment, Sharon must begin to work from his gut: he must not stand and face us with advisers and lawyers, but with all his powers of persuasion.  Not with documents and numbers, but with the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth."


"A Short Circuit With London"


Independent Ha'aretz editorialized (1/8):  "The Sharon government's discomfort over Britain's activities in the region has some justification....  Nevertheless, wisdom and good judgment should have been able to keep these feelings out of the kitchen cabinet's hasty decision on Sunday night, following the double bombing in Tel Aviv, to forbid senior Palestinian officials to attend the London conference on reforming the Palestinian Authority.  The conference's sponsor, Prime Minister Blair, has more than once proven his friendship for Israel and his commitment to finding a fair solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict....  The planned conference itself also deserves a less one-dimensional response from the government: It is supposed to deal with reforming the Palestinian Authority, and the government of Israel claims to support such reforms and to be interested in seeing them take place.  It is admittedly galling to Prime Minister Sharon that the Arab states and the members of the Quartet were also invited to the London conference, while Israel was banished and its representatives were forbidden to attend even as observers.  But this does not justify Israel acting in a manner that effectively torpedoes the entire event....  Imposing a travel ban on Palestinians when there is no security justification for it will make it harder for Israel to claim that it is guided solely by security considerations.  Blair has not given up; Tuesday, he once again asked Sharon to reconsider. The Prime Minister would be wise to accede to his request."


"Tempest In His Teacup"


Conservative, independent Jerusalem Post opined (1/8):  "The Jerusalem Post is inclined to agree that relatively little is gained by denying Palestinian negotiators the opportunity to travel to Britain for what will surely be a footnote of a conference.  Yet Israel must respond to Sunday's terror attacks somehow....  Israel's relations with Britain are important.  The ties are historical, cultural, political and ideological.  Just as Britain serves as a bridge between America and Europe, it could fulfill a similar role between Israel and the EU.  Also, Britain is very much a full partner with the U.S. in the Middle East and its influence in any prospective post-war settlement is likely to be large.  So it is critical there be no further deterioration of relations between us.  That said, if Israel sees that it has little to gain by taking into account British concerns since she is likely be criticized by Britain no matter what she does the Sharon government may very well come to the conclusion that there is no longer much point in listening to London.  To have influence in Jerusalem, as it does in Washington, Britain must demonstrate understanding and credibility superior to what we've seen from the rest of Europe.  So far, we haven't seen it."


"Why Upset London"


Senior commentator Rami Tal commented in mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot Aharonot (1/8): "If a contest is held for the title of 'stupidest decision,' it seems that one contender could be the decision made by the kitchen cabinet to prevent a Palestinian delegation from going to London for a discussion on government reforms in the Palestinian Authority.  The demand for such reforms was not made by Israel....  The idea of reforms in the PA is American in origin--the product of a combination of typical American naiveté, pressure by Jewish organizations in the U.S. and the aspiration of the Bush administration to appear as an advocate of promoting democracy around the world....  Britain has recently joined this effort, and its Prime Minister, Tony Blair, initiated the aforementioned conference in London--with the participation of representatives from all the Arab countries and Palestinian representatives.  Israel then launched into a series of errors.  On one hand, it argued that Israeli representatives should also have been invited to the conference, despite the fact that such an invitation would have caused the failure of the conference before it began.  On the other hand, it was argued that there is no point in the conference, since Arafat was the one who selected the Palestinian representatives (and who should have done this?  Sharon?  [Israel's right-wing politicians?]).  At the beginning of the week, the redeeming excuse was finally found: the terror attacks at the old central bus station in Tel Aviv.  Sharon-Mofaz-Netanyahu determined that...the Palestinians would be punished by not allowing their representatives to go to Britain.  Her Majesty’s government reacted with anger, and U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell expressed polite disapproval at the decision."


"What is Blair's Story?"


Likud associate and former Ambassador to the UK Dror Zeigerman noted popular, pluralist Maariv (1/8):  "The intervention of Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is nothing new.  In 1998 he initiated and convened a meeting with the participation of Binyamin Netanyahu, Yasser Arafat and then U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.  The summit was, as expected, a complete failure.  Only a covert breakfast between Netanyahu and Blair prevented Albright from announcing the failure publicly and pointing an accusing finger at Netanyahu and Arafat.  Netanyahu managed to persuade Blair that the failure would stick to him as the host, and persuaded him to intervene with President Bill Clinton to prevent issuing such a statement.  Blair understood the hard way that the Middle East is not Northern Ireland.  If there is a chance for dialogue between Israel and the Palestinians, it lies in the intervention of the President of the U.S.  This may be the reason that Blair refrained from including Israel in the conference he is to convene in London next week....  Blair defines himself as a great friend of Israel, and so he is.  His misunderstanding of Israeli politics, a certain degree of naiveté and Jewish advisors well connected to the Labor Party have caused him to stumble and abandon the diplomatic code.  Therefore, Sharon and Netanyahu did well to reprimand the British ambassador in Israel for a lack of diplomatic tact in British intervention in Israel’s elections.  The Prime Minister and Foreign Minister also have no reason to accept the British request for a gesture that will enable the Palestinian delegation leave for the conference in Britain.  The fear of damage to the diplomatic relations between the two countries is exaggerated.  If such damage occurs, it will be in the short term only."


"Britain, As Usual"


Nationalist Hatzofe thundered (1/8):  "Britain, which hunted down ships carrying survivors of Auschwitz and the death camps to Israel, has never changed its nature regarding the Jewish people and Israel....  Britain the Good and Hypocritical knows that meetings with Palestinian officials have no value and that these meetings only give legitimacy to the continuation of terror, but it still continues to hold diplomatic meetings as if the shahids [martyrs] had passed from this world....  The Government's decision to prevent the Palestinian delegation from going to London is worthy of praise and encouragement, especially against the backdrop of the horrible terror attacks in Tel Aviv on Sunday....  [Arafat] is a Palestinian leader who wants to eliminate Israel, not to make peace.  Britain, judging from its past and its behavior in the present, is interested in advancing his aims.  The proof: funds from the EU, in which Britain is a partner, flow with an open hand to the extreme Israeli Left which wants to take Israel back to borders that are not enough to guarantee its future."


"PA's Chance To Reap Diplomatic Dividends"


Arab affairs commentator Danny Rubinstein wrote in independent Ha'aretz (1/7):  "Palestinian leaders were surprised yesterday by punitive diplomatic steps taken by Israel, particularly the decision to stop Palestinian officials from taking part in a conference on reforms in the PA organized by British PM Tony Blair for mid-January.  The PA leaders denounced these Israeli actions; while some hinted that they might be able to reap diplomatic dividends from Israel's moves....  Palestinians have viewed the London conference as a diplomatic success.  It eases policies of isolation that Israel and the U.S. have enforced against the PA, the Palestinian officials believe.  The Palestinians were pleased that the British invitation was relayed directly to Arafat, even though it was clear that the PA chairman would not be able to make the trip. For the Palestinians, the London conference was to be a serious attempt to revive a diplomatic process that has come to a near total standstill."


"Terror and a Dead End"


Ha'aretz editorialized (1/7): "Apparently, the effort being made by Egypt to create an agreement between the Palestinian groups to cease their attacks has not managed to create the necessary change....  Diplomacy alone will not bring an end to terrorism.  Terror will cease only if the Palestinian public rejects the terrorists and their commanders and their terrorist activity.  But there is no sign on the horizon of such a broad popular movement to uproot terror from within its midst.  The Palestinians believe that there is no chance for a broad front against terror when they don't have a track that leads to solving their national problem.  Three weeks before the elections there's no point in expecting a political breakthrough.  But the Israeli public cannot be blind to the fact that Ariel Sharon and his government have so far rebuffed every political initiative and used the IDF with destructive brutality that harmed the Palestinian population and often contributed to fanning the flames of hatred and violence.  Thus, they also share responsibility for the continuing terrible bloodshed."


"Those Who Pay Order The Music"


Efraim Ganor wrote in popular, pluralist Russian-language Novosty Nedely (1/6):  "A high-ranking Israeli delegation headed by the PM's bureau chief Dov Weisglass arrived in the U.S. to discuss the issues of military and financial aid to Israel with the U.S. Administration....  Israeli public opinion polls are being viewed and analyzed in Washington, and might very well rebuff [the U.S.'] publicly expressed support for Sharon.  What will be the consequences for Israel?  Stronger U.S. pressure and a tougher position regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict....  Under the current difficult circumstances Israel would not be able to withstand such pressure.  Therefore, Sharon rushes to close the issue of financial aid and has sent Weisglass to Washington...before internal pressure in Likud starts.  The PM is eager to show the Americans that he really controls the situation, but he needs the U.S. assistance to do so.  The current situation is very difficult and complicated.  Israel depends on the U.S. both financially and politically.  The U.S. is using this in order to force any [Israeli] Prime accept the Quartet's formula....  This might lead to a serious internal conflict in the country, and...greater instability.  Only Yasser Arafat would gain from it."


"Government In A Bind"


Senior columnist Nahum Barnea wrote in mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot Aharonot (1/6):  "Note the inclination of the ministers who convened late last night with the Prime Minister: it doesn’t matter who committed the terror attack in Tel Aviv, Fatah, Islamic Jihad or Hamas, they sanctified a single solution: Arafat's expulsion.  Sharon was stuck with the thankless job of restoring their sanity to them.  Sharon knows and they know that the expulsion of Arafat now, on the eve of the attack on Iraq, when there is no evidence of any connection whatsoever between the Palestinian Authority and the terror attack, would be tantamount to a declaration of war on the Bush administration, a war that Israel cannot afford....  Sharon is not smiling.  Just like every decent Israeli, he is angry and pained by the severity of the blow, and he understands the bind that his government is in: it cannot win the conflict by force, it is not prepared to decide to end the conflict by means of negotiations, and it does not want to end it by means of genuine separation, which would entail the evacuation of settlements.  It is held captive within this status quo, without a glimmer of hope at the end of the tunnel."


"The Real Scuds"


Senior columnist Hemmi Shalev wrote in popular, pluralist Maariv (1/6):  "Only a few hours after the spectacular display of futuristic technology for the defense of the skies [the successful Arrow missile test], two deadly missiles penetrated Tel Aviv's space and strewed devastation, fear and bereavement.  These are surface-to-surface missiles, in the fullest sense of the expression-simple, sophisticated, deadly and human, or perhaps sub-human.  These are the real Scuds threatening our lives....  And despite all the efforts, the Arrow has not yet been invented that will be able to completely intercept the launching of suicide bombers....  Palestinian terror defeated Yitzhak Shamir in the elections of 1992, Shimon Peres in 1996 and Ehud Barak in 2001, but all the conventional wisdom believes that it could actually help Sharon.  Only few will now bet on a dramatic upheaval in the dynamics of public opinion, which suddenly, without prior warning, will translate the collective consciousness that 'it cannot go on this way' into ballots as well."


"Guarantees To Perpetuate The Occupation"


Columnist Akiva Eldar observed in independent Ha'aretz (1/6):  "The most dangerous innovation in the American attitude to the settlements shouldn't be sought in their relationship to the guarantees or the problematic timing of the negotiations over the aid.  There's a much more profound change in policy here: in the latest discussions of the road map, President Bush rejected the Quartet's position that terror should be fought as if there were no new settlements and the settlements should be frozen as if there were no terror.  He set a new precedent, that settlements are not an absolute danger to peace, but rather a matter contingent on outside factors, including domestic American politics.  The American decision that a settlement freeze is conditional on Sharon's satisfaction with a cease-fire is, in effect, a legitimization of the deepening of the occupation, perpetuating the war and perhaps a guarantee for continued right-wing rule."


"No Funding For Terror"


Conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized (1/6):  "In some ways, the solicitude being shown [by the U.S.] to the PA's second tier, including Arafat deputy Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) and Finance Minister Salaam Fayad, is more disturbing than the protection of Arafat himself.  The reason is that while Arafat's days in leadership are presumably numbered, the embrace of his close associates calls into question the U.S. vision for a post-Arafat regime.  Let us say, for the moment, that Abbas and Fayad are sincerely interested in ending the current terrorist phase of the struggle.  Does this qualify them to become the next leaders of the PA, or have the U.S. and Israel learned nothing from the Oslo debacle?....  It is certainly reasonable for Bush to be concerned about the humanitarian plight of the Palestinian people, which he has rightly blamed on their own leadership.  But if he is so concerned about the people, he should not be demanding that Israel funnel money to their oppressors, even if he has found one among them who is not corrupt.  Rather, the Israeli-collected tax money should continue to be withheld, or distributed through non-governmental organizations.  At a minimum, Israel should neither be asked to, nor accept a request, to fund a government that holds direct responsibility for terrorism against its citizens."


"A Dangerous Map"


Nationalist Hatzofe editorialized (1/5):  "Contrary to media reports that the United States has accepted most of Israel's remarks concerning the draft ['road map'] document, it turns out that its final outline ignores most of them....  Everything indicates that after the elections the U.S. will apply heavy pressure on Israel to agree to the principles of the 'road map.'  The new Israeli government will have to confront that pressure and the dangers inherent in that map.  Ariel Sharon should clarify his position regarding this dangerous map before the elections and desist from publicly supporting the establishment of a Palestinian state and sending out conciliatory messages, mostly aimed at preparing the ground for the formation of a government comprising the Labor and Shinui parties."


WEST BANK:  "After Tel Aviv Operation: Prompt Initiative Needed”


Talal Okal opined in independent, pro-Palestinian Authority Al-Ayyam (1/9):  "As far as the Sharon government is concerned, the fact that [the Palestinian Authority] has condemned the Tel Aviv bombing attacks will not help bring about a suitable atmosphere for any political talks because this government seems to be taking hostile measures against everybody.  Israel has purposely decided to hold the Palestinian Authority responsible for the attacks in an effort to undermine the Palestinian Authority’s ability to control the situation....  Meanwhile, Israel has continued its aggression and massacres against the Palestinian people, refusing to acknowledge any of their grievances.  For its part, the American administration has authorized Israel’s aggression as a right to self-defense, giving Israel free rein to continue its destructive policy.”


“Feeble Pretexts To Abort London Conference”


Independent Al-Quds editorialized (1/8):  "It seems that all along the Israeli government disliked the idea of holding a conference in the British capital to revive the peace process based on President Bush’s vision for peace in the region. Israel has found just the right pretext to sabotage the conference by using last Sunday’s double attack in Tel Aviv and the Israeli civilian victims to justify prohibiting the Palestinian delegation from traveling to the British capital. This Israeli action came despite the Palestinian Authority’s strong condemnation of the attack, stressing that such attacks aim at hindering the peace process and enhancing the chances of Ariel Sharon’s victory in the upcoming elections.”


"Preventing The Prevention Efforts"


Adli Sadek commented in semi-offical Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (1/7):  "The Sharon government is effectively against all efforts aimed at ending [Palestinian] bombing attacks and is actively preventing such efforts from succeeding through undermining the pro-peace bloc in Palestinian society and then creating counterproductive facts on the ground, including daily killings....  The Sharon government's decision to prevent the Palestinian delegation from participating in the London conference, in addition to all of this government's [other] prohibitions, fritters away all hopes [in peace] and replaces them with death on both sides.  We are dealing with a government dominated by an obsession [with prevention].  It prevents any chance for a settlement; it prevents the PA from having strong institutions...and it prevents any reforms in the PA.  In short, it prevents any effort to end the killings."


"At The Doors Of Israeli Elections"


Sameih Shubeib opined in independent, pro-Palestinian Authority Al-Ayyam (1/6):  "The nullification of the candidacy of Azmi Bishara and Ahmed Tibi reveals the goals of the Israeli policy, which are mainly based on Zionism and the ambition of establishing a ‘pure Jewish State.’ Such a state will deprive minority communities, such as the Arab minority, of all political and national rights.  In addition, the action of nullifying the candidacy of Bishara and Tibi shows that Sharon and his supporters are hoping for a massive victory to establish a new national unity government, making Sharon the real king of the new Israel, ‘clean’ from any other political groups or entities, especially the Arabs.”


"Where Is The Chance Of Making Progress On The Peace Process?"


Independent Al-Quds editorialized (1/6):  "Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon stated yesterday during the weekly session of his government that there is ‘a real possibility for pushing the political track with the Palestinians.’  He added that he has a ‘plan to enhance the principles declared by American President George Bush’s peace proposal.’  These remarks by Sharon come as a surprise not only because there is no declared Israeli position toward supporting political negotiations, but also because Sharon has failed to make any concessions regarding his extremist positions on the Palestinian cause.”


EGYPT:   “Neither Indians Nor Red”


Lading pro-government Al Ahram contributor Mohamed El-Sammak observed (1/8):  “American General Philip Sheridan, who led the ethnic cleansing campaign against Red Indians in the U.S., said, ‘the good Indian is a dead Indian.’ Sharon, who is leading the ethnic cleansing campaign against Arabs in Palestine, is adopting the same concept.  However, Palestinians are neither Indians nor red.  The mistake of the Red Indians was they believed the promises of the American government, and in return they fell like flies in massacres.  Palestinians today do not believe either American or Israeli promises....  In fact, general Sharon is not only a mimicking pupil of general Sheridan, but also a committed disciple of Gabotensky, the Zionist philosopher....  Hollywood depicted resisting Red Indians as criminals, the same way the Zionist media is now depicting Palestinian strugglers who are giving their lives for the sake of national dignity and rights.  While the Red Indians were misfortunate to be in an isolated continent out of the reach of anyone’s help, Palestinians also are receiving only verbal support from Arabs....  However, even if Israel brought all world Jews into Palestine, they will remain a minority at the heart of the Arab world. They will discover that Arabs are not Red Indians...and one day [Israelis] will have to pay a dear price for all their crimes.”


“Israel And The Final Settlement”


Leading pro-government Al Ahram senior columnist Salama Ahmed Salama opined (1/8):  “The mission of the dialogue among Palestinian factions is not to eliminate resistance, but to coordinate efforts to manage the dispute. It is a decisive stage in the face of an Israeli [escalation], which exploits a possible strike on Iraq.  Israel seeks a final settlement based on Zionist learning from Nazism. A ‘final settlement’ is the term used by Nazis to liquidate the Jewish problem in Europe, which is the same method being currently used to liquidate the Palestinian problem in the Middle East.  There is good coordination with the U.S. to determine the Israeli role in the campaign against Iraq, and Israel is obtaining $14 billion of aid to reinforce strategic cooperation [with the U.S.]....  The outcome of a year of Israeli thuggery shows that Sharon is proceeding toward a ‘final settlement’ rapidly. Israeli statistics show that 2073 Palestinians were killed in 2002...and 44 new settlements were built.  This renders the peace efforts talked about in London or elsewhere as useless.”


“Sharon And Nourishing Reasons For Violence”


Leading pro-government Al Ahram’s unsigned editorial read (1/8):  “Each time a Palestinian martyrdom operation occurs in response to Israeli repressive policies, the Sharon government resorts to further repression and aggression against the Palestinian people, showing repeated scenarios that reveal shortsightedness and failure to learn the lesson and assimilate the fact that security failed so far to subdue the Palestinian people...instead of calming the violence cycle, in which civilians and innocent people on both sides fell, he pursued his policy that nourishes this violence....  Certainly, the Israeli government continues its losing bet on force and aggression, exploiting the world’s pre-occupation with Iraq....  However, the international community is now more convinced of the necessity of settling the Mideast dispute....  However, statements and initiatives are not enough....  There must be an international political will to be translated into specific and binding steps, as the only way to end this chronic dispute.”


"Sharon, Mixing Up Concepts"


Leading pro-government Al-Ahram opined (1/5):  "Within the framework of Israel's continued escalation of Middle East tension, extremist Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has started a tendentious publicity campaign in which he attempts to accuse Syria of possession of weapons of mass destruction....  Sharon's false accusations against Syria surely do not rest on any evidence.  They rather disclose the Israeli government's desire to mix up cards and concepts and its attempt to implicate more than one Arab country in an issue that will prompt a relentless US war against Iraq....  It is also beyond doubt that Sharon wants to send to the Israelis a message that the Jewish state is still vulnerable to many dangers and that he is now keener on maintaining their security more than ever before....  He won the last elections after his security-related pledges that he would abort the Palestinian intifada and end the martyrdom operations.  But through these operations, resistance groups have succeeded in shaking the Israeli security system and dealing it a crushing blow....  The US administration should act for an end to this unjustified Israeli escalation against Syria.  Also, considering that to accede to Sharon's plans would make a battlefield of the entire Middle East, Arab action is needed to explain the situation, disclose facts and clarify matters."


JORDAN:  “The Embarrassing Situation Of Yaser Arafat”


Chief Editor Taher Udwan declared in center-left, mass-appeal Al-Arab Al-Yawm (1/7):  “The dual suicide bombings in Tel Aviv hurt the Palestinians as much as it bled the Israelis and destroyed their security myth.  The bombing ignited disputes within the Fateh movement, and showed that the Fateh people, just like Hamas and Jihad, no longer believe in Yaser Arafat’s political tactics or the method of 'keeping quiet and calm in the face of the Israeli knife' as the only way out of the current siege.  The Fateh group, Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, declared its responsibility for the dual bombings but the Fateh leadership and the PA denied that.  This is the first time such a thing has occurred....  Arafat is in a tight spot, and Israel is using Abu Ammar’s siege and his tight spot to confuse the Palestinians and to tear them apart in order to divide them up.  Will the PA and the Palestinian factions realize this?”


MOROCCO:  "This is My Opinion:  Violence...Violence...Blood...Blood"


Mohamed Ben Salah wrote in Arabic-language pro-government Al Alam (1/7):  "Violence breeds violence and the Tel Aviv operation was in fact violent but not so much when compared with thousands of Palestinian martyrs killed by Israeli violence. The cycle of violence will continue with the election of the bloodthirsty Israelis (The Likud)....  The Palestinian people have come to know their path; but the one who has lost it is the U.S. administration as Middle East peace broker."


"Perilous Phase"


Chief Editor Ahmed Boukyoud opined in Arabic-language pro-government Bayane Al Youm (1/7):  "In the recent operation in Tel Aviv, the unequal conflict in the Middle East has entered a perilous phase which thus reduces the chances for a peace settlement in the Middle East under the aggressive inclination of Israeli officials. This phase requires from the international community to come out of its silence and act to stop Israel's oppression and occupation of Palestinian territories.  Arab countries are also requested to translate their solidarity slogans into actions and tangible initiatives to strengthen the Palestinian people's resistance and legitimate struggle."


SAUDI ARABIA:  “We Reject Brutality But Are Surprised By Partiality”


Jeddah’s moderate Okaz editorialized (1/7):  “We condemn all forms of terrorism as a way of thinking and acting.   We also denounce all acts of violence carried out against innocent civilians, regardless of who they are or where they live....  We ask: Why the Palestinian suicide operations at this time particularly, when international and European efforts are intensified to formulate the shape of the upcoming Palestinian state....  We also question the description by the U.S. administration of Palestinian suicide operations as 'brutal terrorism’ when it uses soft and adorned expressions in describing Israeli terrorism, oppression and violence, which is systematically and continuously exercised against all segments of Palestinian society.”


“Israel Hammers Toward Escalation”


Riyadh’s moderate Al-Jazira opined (1/7):  “The suicide bombings of Tel Aviv came to remind Israel that there are those who could also harm her, likewise there are those who could alter the equation of terror to include all and to bring a balance of terror....  Many victims will fall because no one can deter or control Israel....  It is vital to correct this odd situation, which Israel represents since peace conditions require the presence of observers, who are ready to deal with peace needs.  The Palestinians have always proved their commitment to a peaceful solution, but Israel finds itself free of any commitment even if it is an international resolution.”


"Widening The Rift"


The English-language pro-government Riyadh Daily published this editorial declaring (1/4):  “Israel, often cited by the West as the beacon of democracy in the region has now established itself as an espouser of political racism by slapping an election ban on two Arab MPs.  Ahmad Tibi and Azmi Bishara, along with his Balad party, have been banned from running for the January 28 legislative elections on the grounds that they support the Palestinian cause.  However, the real motive behind the ban is clear, considering the fact that Israel's central electoral commission, which imposed the ban, is dominated by hard-line right-wingers....  Pacifists from both sides are struggling to bring the Arabs and Jews together.  But it is evident that Sharon’s extremist line of thought is seeking to perpetuate the age-old animosities between the two communities.  Zionism doesn’t advocate Arab-Jewish co-existence in any way.  And Sharon’s policies are surely proving this point to the hilt.”


SYRIA:  "The Real Danger"


Riad Zein observed in the government-owned Syria Times (1/9): "In the heat of the unprecedented American military build-up in the Gulf region, the question of Israel's possession of a nuclear arsenal continues to be pressing.  It is widely known that Israel possesses more than 200 nuclear and other sophisticated arms of mass destruction as well as the 'Dimona' nuclear reactor. It moreover continues to develop different nuclear installations. Israel also blatantly refuses to join the Non-Proliferation Treaty and to honor resolutions of the international legitimacy. What encourages Israel brazen defiance is the U.S. that continues to render all aid to its strategic ally.  Needless to say therein that the actual threat and real danger to the region is Israel. Its weapons of mass annihilation are in the hands of extremist and terrorist leaders who are not hesitant to use these destructive arms, to continue carrying out acts of mass genocide and destruction and to escalate grave tensions in the entire Middle East."


"Resistance Is The Language And The Option"


Mohammad Ali Bouza opined in government-owned Al-Thawra (1/8):  "In the midst of America's overwhelming concentration on the Iraqi issue, the Tel Aviv well-planned bombings were executed came after two months of unilateral self-restraint to cause a shock and to bring the Palestinian issue and the tragic situation there back to the forefront.  Martyrdom, resistance and heroic confrontation with continued Zionist terrorism is the only language that enemy understands, and is the only remaining option for the people of the Occupied Territories after now that all other paths to peace have been blocked.  It would be better if those who are now shedding crocodile tears and raising their one-sided racist and unjust voices would see the truth in its entirety and to stop the aggression and massacres perpetrated by their favored Israel, instead of expecting the Palestinian people to remain docile subject to death, hunger and destruction, just so Washington will not label them as terrorists."


"Legitimate Rage"


Bashar Satti said in the government-owned Syria Times (1/6):  "The U.S. Administration should have given aid to Arabs and not to the Israelis who want to harm the Arab region beyond repair.  Iraq has already abided by UNSC resolution 1441 and shown that it has no WMD.  Israel should be forced to do the same since it is the only country that constitutes a real threat to the whole region.  The U.S. administration is strongly urged to revise its hostile stands against Iraq as well as other Arab and Muslim countries."


"Violence Breeds Violence"


Center-left, influential Arabic-language Al-Dustour noted (1/6):  "The right-wing and extremist government in Israel did not listen to the voice of reason and ignored all the warnings of the repercussions of Israel’s violence that has taken the crazy war against the people, the trees, and stones in Palestine to new limits....  Violence breeds only violence and the victims in both [Israeli and Palestinian] incidents of violence are innocent civilians, men women and children.  Yet, if we are to point fingers of accusations at those responsible for this cycle of violence, then all are fingers are pointed at Sharon, Mofaz, Netanyahu, and the entire political and racist institution of Israel.  We hate to see innocents fall.  The blood of those who were killed yesterday in Tel Aviv, just like the blood of the thousands of Palestinians, is on the hands of those racist enemies of peace and stability.”


TUNISIA:  "Martyr Operations: Who's Winning And Who's Losing?"


Senior Editor Manoubi Akrout stated in independent French-language Le Quotidien (1/7):  "After six weeks of calm, the martyr operations resumed 2 days ago. At first sight, the message is simple; Sharon has come up short in his promise at the beginning of his mandate to cut short any violence.  After Sharon, we may have the pacifist Mitzna in the Israeli government. But think about it, the game of alternation (of political parties) is part of Israel's weapons to lose the Arab-Muslim world in the labyrinth of the international law. To all who still believe in the myth of a left-right alternation, we remind them that the Mitzna Labor party was part of Sharon's government not more than two months ago....  The Palestinian people have not found another prospect other than to fight with their blood.  Does the international public opinion really think that Palestinian mothers would give their children to a cause if it were not a just and even holy one? Unfortunately, even with this degree of supreme sacrifice, Palestinians could unconsciously play the game of its occupiers. The Israelis have followed the wave of the U.S. campaign against terrorism by looking for any way to weaken the Palestinian resistance."




AUSTRALIA:  "Defusing New Risk In The Middle East"


The national conservative Australian editorialized (1/7):  "Despite the chasm that separates the two sides, talk they must.  The suicide bombing strategy constitutes a real deterioration in the already bloody relations between Israel and the Palestinians, and one that presages a downward spiral to even worse violence and perpetual civilian deaths.  In the first instance, it is up to the PA to bring all its militants under its discipline. Both sides must then talk for as long as it takes to find a peace that the vast majorities of both their peoples will accept to put an end to this new and potentially uncontrollable stage of the Middle East slaughter."


INDONESIA:  "Arafat Also Admired For Preparing Leadership"


Leading independent Kompas commented (1/6):  “The preparation for leadership succession in Palestine is becoming clearer and more concrete.  President Yasser Arafat for the umpteenth time mentioned Mahmoud Abbas or better known as Abu Mahzen as his prospective successor....  Arafat found it necessary to name his successor in order to avoid being dictated to by external powers in its leadership regeneration.  He has even asserted that the succession must be left to the Palestinian people.  Apparently, Arafat has caught negative indications that Israel and the U.S. might make a maneuver in the regeneration process.  Israel and the U.S. have expressed their aversion of his leadership, which they find as having failed to terminate the wave of suicide attacks.  To the Palestinians, the mentioning of Mahzen as his successor candidate has helped curb the succession issue.”


PHILIPPINES:  "Zero-sum Game"


The editorial in the independent Philippine Star read (1/8):  "The Israeli government immediately approved retaliatory strikes against the Palestinians. No doubt the retaliation will be deadly, and no doubt it will encourage further Palestinian attacks using that most lethal of weapons--the suicide bomber. The suicide attacks were launched for the first time inside Israel only about a year ago, eliciting some of the most punishing retaliatory strikes from the Israelis. Breaking this cycle of violence in that part of the world has been a major challenge to the international community for several decades. The suicide bombings have made prospects for peace even dimmer.  As the peace talks remain stalled, the international community has tried to stop the flow of support to Palestinian groups responsible for the bombings. This is proving to be as tricky as trying to revive the peace talks. In the end, however, both sides must realize that their only hope for survival lies in returning to the negotiating table."


PAKISTAN:  "More Suicide Attacks In Israel"


The Islamabad-based rightist English-language Pakistan Observer observed (1/7):  "Blood-splattering by Israel or by Palestinians cannot be condoned and deserves condemnation, as humanity is the ultimate victim of political designs.  The death of 19 persons in the Israeli capital Tel Aviv is understandably the part of the ongoing tit for tat killings by Israelis and Palestinians.  The tragedy, however, is that the root cause of the violence has remained festering over the past half a century.  Palestinians are obviously responding to the injustice, repression and retaliation to which they are being subjected by Israel, since its birth....  The tit for tat killings will, therefore, continue unabated till the Palestinians' right is restituted.  They are pursuing a just struggle for their own sovereign state, which was the unambiguous objective of the (UN) Plan, as a result of which Israel was implanted in the heart of the Arab land.  The West's apathy towards the turmoil in the Middle East due to Israel's vandalism is simply disgusting." 




TANZANIA:  “America Should Help Palestinians And Israelis Live In Peace”


Kiswahili-language ruling party-owned Uhuru editorialized (1/7):  "The world continues to witness the shedding of blood in the Middle East where two days ago, two Palestinians blew themselves up in Tel Aviv, Israel, and caused the death of not less than 23 other people and more than 100 wounded.  Just as we have always stated, we are deeply saddened by the continued killing of innocent people in the Middle East, whether they are Palestinians, Israelis or people of other nationalities.  The killings from the day before yesterday took place at a time when the Israeli government is continuing to attack some Palestinian extremists and to take revenge.  Through this bullying politics being perpetrated by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, innocent people have been killed.  Parallel to these attacks, some Palestinian areas continue to be occupied by Israeli soldiers.  We don’t think that this policy of using violence is the way to solve the Middle East conflict.  The use of force will incite more hatred among the Palestinians, who will come up with strategies to revenge by suicide bombs.  The results are that more innocent people will be killed in Israel.  The origin of the Middle East conflict has been clear for a long time now:  While Palestinians should recognize the legitimacy of the state of Israel, Palestinians must be given the right to live in freedom on their own land.  Without giving them this right, peace in this area will remain a dream....  It is our belief that if a powerful country like the US were truly determined to find a solution to the Middle East problem, all would already have been at peace....  Regarding the Middle East issue, we believe that the US has an important role to play in bringing about a solution, if it decides to do so.  Its contribution would be highly appreciated by the world, if it could help Israelis and Palestinians to live in peace as neighbors that depend on one another, instead of insisting on giving Iraq a beating for reasons that seem more to serve only personal political and economic interests, rather than eliminating a threat to world peace.”




MEXICO:  "Middle East: World Priority"


Far-left Jornada stated (1/6):  "The recent spiral of violence between the Israeli government and Palestinian extremists--two intolerant powers that stare at each other in the mirror--points out to the world that there are much more significant threats to world peace...than Iraq or al-Qaida.  This potentially explosive situation should be cause for alarm among the powerful governments and lead to the establishment of a regional peace process supported by the UNSC with the deployment of peacekeeping forces in the West Bank, Gaza and the Palestinian-controlled sections of Jerusalem.  This should be the priority at hand, and not the delirium of war that Washington is preparing against Iraq."



Commentary from ...
Middle East
East Asia
South Asia
Western Hemisphere

This site is produced and maintained by the U.S. Department of State. Links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views contained therein.

Back To Top

blue rule
IIP Home  |  Issue Focus Home