DeWayne Wickham has an op-ed
in USA Today that explains the centrality of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and its resolution to re-stabilizing the Middle East and advancing US goals in that region. He quotes me extensively and I am encouraged that this message is reaching a broader and more grass-rootsy USA Today national audience. Here are some excerpts:
[T]he way out of the morass the Bush administration has stumbled into in the Middle East is through the Palestinian territory.
To drain the swamp in which al-Qaeda and other U.S. adversaries operate and make it harder for this nation's foes in the Middle East "to speak above the heads" of moderate Arab leaders, Levy says, a way must be found to end Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territory.
The long-running struggle between Israel and the Palestinian people "is the mother-of-all grievances" for many in the Muslim world…
[T]he unsettled Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a rallying cry for this nation's enemies in the region.
But the Annapolis conference ended with no great sense of urgency to fashion a peace agreement.
Bush…sounds more like…a spectator than the leader of a nation's whose fate is linked tightly to the outcome of this effort.
Obviously, I agree with Wickham’s analysis. He, of course, is looking at all this from the American perspective and interest. For me, it is important to add that a resolution of the conflict along viable lines is vital to the Israeli interest. To make the linkage is not an exercise in finger-pointing at Israel, but rather a recognition of reality and how to change it in a way that positions Israel for a more promising future and helps maintain the Israeli-American special relationship, but on a more healthy footing.