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August 01, 2008

Arab States Renege on Commitments to Western Diplomacy

Western leaders have invested much time and energy into finding a path to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This is in large part a response to pressure from Arab states, who have impressed upon Western leaders their view that Western support for Israel is the chief cause of hostility towards the West.

Yet when offered the chance to play a constructive role, the Arab states do not act in a manner consistent with a desire to assist Western efforts. Last December, Western and Arab governments agreed upon a plan to help prop up the West Bank Palestinian Authority as an alternative to Hamas, because, unlike the intractable Hamas, it is viewed as a partner in any future peace agreement with Israel. Wealthy Arab states pledged to provide a large share of the needed funds.

A Jerusalem Post article on July 31, 2008 highlights the fact that the Arab states have so far reneged on their commitment despite desperate appeals for help from Palestinian President Abbas and Prime Minister Salam. According to the Post, the Arab states have set as a condition for providing the promised aid that the more moderate West Bank leadership bury its differences with Hamas, the Islamist organization irrevocably opposed to peace with Israel.

Their is as yet little discussion in the media as to what Arab efforts to reconcile the Iranian-backed Hamas and the West Bank Fatah government implies for peace prospects. Much of the Western media continues to micro-focus on minor disturbances in the West Bank, disputes over visas for Fulbright fellows in Gaza or allot precious space to providing a forum for a convicted Lebanese terrorist to deny his witnessed atrocities. The Jerusalem Post deserves praise for its exposure of the broader issues of the conflict, like the Arab states' reneging on their commitment to support Western diplomatic efforts.

Posted by SS at August 1, 2008 10:32 AM


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