Day 9: Not Israel's Fault or Responsibility
Margaret O'Brien Steinfels March 17, 2010 - 10:21pm
It's all the Palestinians' fault.Michael Oren, Israel's ambassador to the United States (and a citizen of the U.S.) explains why this is not a crisis, and it's not Israel's doing. As my mother used to say, "this takes the cake."http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/18/opinion/18oren.htmlA contrary view summed up by Commonweal regular, Andrew Bacevich in Salon: "In a lengthy statement offered to the Armed Services Committee earlier this week, Petraeus ticked off a long list of problems in his AOR -- AfPak, Iran, Iraq, Yemen -- and then turned to what he called the "root causes of instability." Ranking as item No. 1 on his list was this: "insufficient progress toward a comprehensive Middle East peace." Petraeus continued:
"The enduring hostilities between Israel and some of its neighbors present distinct challenges to our ability to advance our interests in the AOR. Israeli-Palestinian tensions often flare into violence and large-scale armed confrontations. The conflict foments anti-American sentiment, due to a perception of U.S. favoritism for Israel. Arab anger over the Palestinian question limits the strength and depth of U.S. partnerships with governments and peoples in the AOR and weakens the legitimacy of moderate regimes in the Arab world. Meanwhile, al-Qaeda and other militant groups exploit that anger to mobilize support. The conflict also gives Iran influence in the Arab world through its clients, Lebanese Hizballah and Hamas."http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2010/03/17/bacevich_on_petraeus_israel?source=newsletter
About the Author
Margaret O'Brien Steinfels, a former editor of Commonweal, writes frequently in these pages and blogs at dotCommonweal.