June 13, 2003
MIDEAST PEACE: MUTUAL VIOLENCE COULD
'ASSASSINATE THE ROADMAP'
"short-sighted" and "counter-productive" attacks only
** Arab papers accuse the
"killer Sharon" of trying to "assassinate the roadmap."
** Only the U.S. can apply
the "necessary pressure" to halt the "spiral of violence."
** The roadmap "may
not survive," leading to a renewed "Palestinian-Israeli
Abbas needs 'time and assistance, not missiles'-- Sharon's military escalation "could not
have played better into the hands" of roadmap opponents. Israeli attacks cannot defeat terrorism and
only give Hamas a "huge propaganda profit," wrote Israel's
left-leaning Ha'aretz. The
"completely shattered" roadmap will now give way to a
"vertiginous succession of attacks and reprisals," allowing radicals
to "control the Palestinian scene" according to Italy's left-leaning La
Stampa. Tunisian and Syrian dailies
wondered if Sharon aimed to "cause...a Palestinian civil war," while
Turkey's intellectual Cumhurriyet stressed, "Abbas is totally
incapable of taking action against Hamas" without "serious
steps" from Israel.
The 'terrorist assassin Sharon' seeks the 'destruction of the
roadmap'-- Hardline Muslim writers
stressed Sharon's "hostility towards peace," noting the "clear
Israeli effort to impede" the roadmap.
Egypt's leading Al-Ahram accused Israel of seeking to "bring
back the state of war between the two sides"; Tunisia's independent Le
Temps added, "The end goal of the Zionist state is war." Several papers agreed with a West Bank daily
that Israel wanted to "provoke" the Palestinians to provide a
"pretext for further killing, repression and destruction." A center-right German daily concluded,
"There can be no peace with Sharon."
To save his 'ambitious peace plan,' Bush must undertake 'direct,
drastic intervention'-- A French writer echoed
global opinion by urging Bush to "go beyond the usual condemnations"
and "apply the necessary pressure" to both sides to salvage the
roadmap. Arab dailies blamed U.S.
"silence" for emboldening Sharon's "Machiavellian inclinations." Euro outlets urged "concrete
measures" from the U.S. to stop the "absurd strategy of Israeli
reprisals." Beirut's centrist Al-Anwar
termed the U.S. the "lone actor capable of restoring order."
The roadmap is 'floundering' as there is no hope of a 'viable
Palestinian state'-- Conservative papers
demanded a "vigorous counterterrorist campaign against Hamas and its
allies" to prevent the roadmap from being tossed into the "junkyard
of peace initiatives." The Jerusalem
Post assailed the U.S.' "blatant hypocrisy" in believing that
"Hamas is an organization worth protecting," while Brazil's O
Globo highlighted Palestinian extremists' "capacity to blow up"
the roadmap. Israel's pluralist Yediot
Aharonot warned against optimism as "poverty, unemployment, hate and
fanaticism" dominate Palestinian thinking.
EDITOR: Ben Goldberg
EDITOR'S NOTE: This
analysis is based on 94 reports from 35 countries over 10 - 13 June 2003. Editorial excerpts from each country are
listed from the most recent date.
BRITAIN: "Roadmap In
The conservative Daily Telegraph opined (6/13): "America and its allies could use their
new prestige to push Israelis and Palestinians back to the negotiating table,
with the goal of ending the second intifada and setting up a Palestinian state. George W Bush had already endorsed the idea
of Palestinian sovereignty.... The map
is in tatters even before the American monitors have arrived. It did not require much clairvoyance to
foresee trouble. Given Bill Clinton's
failure at Camp David in 2000 and the trauma of September 11, Mr Bush can
hardly be expected to involve himself as deeply as his predecessor. Publication
of the road map may have seemed opportune to Western leaders, but the
conditions for its successful implementation simply did not exist."
"Roadmap In Reverse"
The left-of-center Guardian declared (6/13): "For the moment, the road map, on which
all hopes of a settlement are pinned, still lies on the table in Aqaba, largely
disregarded if not unread. If the two opposing sides continue in this way for
very much longer, the map may have to be filed in the already voluminous
library of failed Middle East peace plans....
In Washington there was talk of turning Palestine into a protected
trusteeship or even deploying a US or NATO intervention force to separate the
combatants. Despite all the earnest hand-wringing, such high-risk, costly
ventures will have few takers. Mr Bush
also seems to have very little new or constructive to say. Analysts suggest
that the very vagueness of the Aqaba pact, and Mr Bush's studied, even proud ignorance
of nuance and detail, are now proving to be its undoing. If Mr Sharon is not forced into line soon, Mr
Bush may back off, passing the Middle East buck to lowlier officials rather
than risk a personal humiliation. That may be the very outcome Mr Sharon is
"Bush's 'Road Map' Takes A Turn For The Worse"
Tim Hames commented in the conservative Times (6/12): "President Bush’s strategy for the
Middle East has received a very serious setback.... The White House always knew that for its initiative
to succeed it needed time and a period of relative calm. Events have gone horribly astray. Unofficially, Colin Powell...is likely to pin
much of the blame on Mr Sharon. The real
fear in Washington now is that Mr Abbas might fast become irrelevant. The short-term priority for the United
States...will be to seek ways of buttressing Mr. Abbas and to prevent Israel
conducting such an intense military campaign in the West Bank or Gaza Strip as
to cut off the peace process completely.
"Not On Target: The New Palestinian Leader Has Been
The conservative Times commented (6/11): "President Bush clearly believes that
the helicopter strike against Dr Rantisi...was inconsistent with Israel’s
larger objectives and is therefore 'deeply troubling'.... The strike against a symbol of Hamas violence
will be popular with the Right and is meant to show that the road map will not
weaken Israel’s resolve. It will, however, make it hard for Mr Abbas or any
Palestinian to push ahead with talks or to sideline Mr Arafat who continues to
have a malign presence in the Palestinian administration. The road map commits
Mr Abbas to confronting violence head-on and to having meaningful negotiations
with Israel. The effect of the raid could be to hamper both."
Takes President Bush By Surprise"
Jean-Louis Turlin held in right-of-center Le Figaro
(6/13): “After having once more called
for an end to the financing of international terrorism on Wednesday, President
Bush is not in a good position to give lessons to Ariel Sharon. Neither is he
in a position to put on Mahmud Abbas the same kind of pressure he put on
Arafat. President Bush is caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place,
and the question is whether the Americans will be left with no other choice but
to engage militarily, as former U.S. Ambassador Martin Indyk believes.”
"Iraq And The Middle East: Dangerous Connecting Vessels"
Right-of-center Les Echos editorialized (6/13): “President Bush is facing instability not
only in Iraq but also in the Middle East. While the two situations are not
similar, they have become communicating vessels.... Before launching his troops in Iraq,
President Bush made the connection between the two situations...explaining that
success in Iraq could open the way to the creation of a democratic Palestinian
state.... While President Bush can still
count on American popular support when it comes to Iraq, on the Middle East his
position is slightly more complicated. His criticism of Israel after its attack
on Radisi elicited criticism in the U.S. The question now is whether President
Bush will be able to remain firm with his Israeli ally. Because as with Iraq,
with the Middle East force is not enough. And without a peaceful solution for
the region it will be difficult to speak of success for the U.S. Especially
since the situation in Afghanistan is far from settled.”
Patrick Sabatier editorialized in left-of-center Liberation
(6/12): “One week after the hopeful
words pronounced at the Aqaba summit, the Road Map...has become almost
illegible, covered in the blood stains of Palestinian terrorist attacks and
Israeli counter-attacks.... The spiral
of violence that began with the attack in Erez on Sunday means that Mahmoud
Abbas’ promise of a cease-fire is impossible.
If Abbas is the weak link in building peace, it is the builder himself,
George W. Bush, who is in fact the target....
If he wants to save what is left of his peace initiative, Bush will have
to go beyond the usual condemnations and reprimands and use the considerable
means that the U.S. has to apply the necessary pressure.”
"The Inadmissible Eye For An Eye"
Charles Lambroschini wrote in right-of-center Le Figaro
(6/12): “George W. Bush, who thought
that his military victory in Baghdad would bring about political success in
Jerusalem, is discovering the sad truth: not enough blood has been shed for
both sides to accept each other.... Yet
there was hope when President Bush committed himself to endorsing the Road
Map...and the Arab world rallied to the American plan.... Today everything has fallen apart.... George Bush is forced to acknowledge that in
the game of poker that is the Middle East conflict, he has lost his joker. Without the Road Map, the American giant is
nothing more than a bound Gulliver.”
"Bush: Back Against the Wall"
Bernard Guetta told listeners on state-run France Inter radio
(6/12): “Politically speaking the first
victim of the violence is George Bush.
One week exactly before the outpouring of blood, George Bush had risen
to the occasion by organizing and presiding over the summit in Aqaba. He did what he promised he would not do when
he took office, which is to become personally involved in the conflict in the
Middle East. He did this because he had
no choice, faced with the uncertainties of the post-war situation in
Baghdad. Almost everyday an American
soldier dies in Iraq. It is not yet
Vietnam, but several weeks down the road the U.S. press will say that the
occupation of Baghdad resulted in more victims than the war itself. The U.S. needs to be successful with regard
to the Middle East in order to justify its intervention in Iraq. George Bush needs this success even more with
the primary elections just around the corner and the slump in the domestic
economic situation. After yesterday’s
events he cannot stand by and wait. His
very credibility as well as that of the U.S. is at stake.... But what can he do without Europe, Russia and
the UN? For George Bush the hour of
truth has arrived.”
"Israel And The Roadmap To Nowhere"
Right-of-center Les Echos editorialized (6/11): “In the Middle East one thing is certain:
hope never lasts for very long....
Israel has gone back to its policy of targeted assassinations even if it
means triggering an angry reaction from the U.S. and Europe.... There is no doubt that Hamas is opposed to
any sort of peace plan with Israel and that Rantisi is an extremist. But by hitting
him as it did, Israel cuts short any hope of peace and embarrasses its American
ally. Because as President Bush said yesterday, the attack undermines the
Palestinian Prime Minister's efforts to put an end to local terrorism.... Once again the peace process has been taken
hostage by the extremists.... But
President Bush has for the first time since coming to power committed
personally to the peace process. The hour of truth has come to find out how far
he is ready to go with his commitment."
GERMANY: "Bush Must
Pass The Test"
Wolfgang Koydl stated in center-left Sueddeutsche Zeitung
of Munich (6/13): "Thus far,
President Bush has intimidated everybody who thought he could intimidate the
U.S. president. Even now, he will not
give up that easily since he clearly knows what is at risk. He should no longer only threaten Ariel
Sharon and Mahmoud Abbas to turn the thumbscrews. He must use them and gradually turn them
around. This means that Sharon will have
to clear illegal settlements in the occupied regions and raze them and not only
a few abandoned ones and some rusty observation towers. The Palestinians must see that Sharon is
serious about it. And Abbas will have to
hunt and capture the murderers in his own ranks, instead of pinning his hopes
on good words, cease-fires, and negotiations.
The Israelis must realize that Abbas is serious about it. The risks that both men are now running are
depressingly high. Abbas and Sharon did not exaggerate when they said that they
are risking no less than a civil war among their own peoples.... But this is the only path to peace, since the
alternative would be unacceptable."
"Appeal To Reason"
Ernst Cramer argued in right-of-center Die Welt of Berlin
(6/13): "It is clearly the Arab
side that must be blamed for the re-emergence of the slaughter in the Holy
Land. Hamas, the Islamic Jihad and other
groups are working hand in hand.
Nevertheless, George W. Bush's urgent appeal to the Israeli government
to show restraint is understandable and correct. The use of military weapons in hunting
individual terrorists will result in the fact that innocent people will be
killed. This is not only inhumane, but
also counter-productive. In addition,
experience taught us that massive military attacks are unable to defeat
terrorism. The opposite is the case. In
order to create peace, Israel must show that it is the wiser side."
Left-of-center Frankfurter Rundschau argued (6/12): "The prospects for creating quiet in the
Middle East were never be as good as they were a few days ago.... Within 24 hours...all hopes seem to have been
dashed and all indications are that the spiral of violence will now turn even
faster.... But there will be no progress
if we simply wonder who is to blame for the latest escalation. What we need now is a U.S. president who is
aware of the historic dimension of the obligations he placed on the
Palestinians and Israelis. Otherwise,
Bush will, in the end, feel confirmed that it would have been better to lay
back in this conflict.... But restraint
is a matter for pessimists."
"Questions To Sharon"
Business-oriented Handelsblatt of Duesseldorf stated
(6/12): "The question is whether
Ariel Sharon's strategy can lead to the hoped for goal. But after two and a half years of intifada
the question was answered long ago. It
is 'no.' That is why other questions
must now be raised. Does the premier
really think that Mahmoud Abbas has a real chance to urge Hamas, Jihad, or the
Al Aqsa brigades to renounce violence, as long as their leaders are in Israel's
cross hairs? The answer is also 'no.' Yesterday's suicide attack provides the macabre
evidence. Why then is Sharon
undermining the good intentions, which
Abbas obviously has? Why is he provoking
acts of revenge? We must
speculate: Does Israel's premier look
for an alibi to correct the roadmap? Is
he, for domestic reasons, giving in to the radical lobby of settlers?… In Aqaba, Sharon promised to make concessions
that are even painful for Israel. A week
later, we must remind him of his promise."
"There Can Be No Peace With Sharon"
Center-right Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung of Essen
editorialized (6/12): "Who is to
blame for the new escalation of violence?
When hands were shaken in Aqaba, three men were present: Sharon, Abbas,
and Bush. But there can only be peace if
all three want it. Bush will risk his
reputation as the most powerful man in the world if he is unable to implement
his roadmap. Abbas is risking his
job--and possibly his life--if his controversial handshake does not soon result
in an improvement of the living standards of his people. And what about Sharon? With the attack on Hamas leader Rantisi, he
sent a signal of new violence. Rantisi
may be a fanatic criminal, but the attack to kill him at this moment was
inevitably also considered an attack on Bush's initiative. It is becoming increasingly clear that there
can be no peace with Sharon."
"Attack On Peace"
Dietrich Alexander argued in right-of-center Die Welt of
Berlin (6/11): "In any case, this
command action was shortsighted and counter-productive. It will play into false hands, the hands of
Palestinian extremists. Indirect victims
are Palestinian Premier Abbas and U.S. President Bush who is risking his
reputation.... The Aqaba declaration is
only one week old, and Palestinian leader Abbas needs time and assistance, not
missiles. Actions like this one will
teach a lesson to the unteachables, who will now mobilize the Palestinians with
new arguments and use them as tools. But
Abbas stands alone without the support of his people and in open hostility with
Yasser Arafat who has been put out of the way.... Abbas is backed only by Washington's
benevolence and the praise of the world, but this is too little for peace Abbas will have to tackle the radicals in his
own camp, but it would be better if he used violence to disarm them than the
Israelis. This is a tightrope act which
will determine the future of the Palestinians and the one of their premier but
also the future of the road map."
Inge Guenther noted in both left-of-center Frankfurter
Rundschau and Berliner Zeitung (6/11): "Thus far, any clearly-targeted
liquidation of prominent Hamas leaders has always resulted in blood in
Israel. This is only one reason why the
failed attack against Rantisi seems to be totally counter-productive. But the timing makes the entire incident even
more questionable. Now of all times when
the concerted will for de-escalation can pave the way for the newly developing
peace process. Of course, Hams is
certainly the biggest obstacle on the 'roadmap to peace.' But what would have been the price for the
Sharon government if it had backed Palestinian Premier Abbas for a few weeks,
giving him the chance to urge part of the militants to negotiate peace? Instead, a new military escalation and the
early end to the political process are now looming. In any case, the consequences are
incalculable. There is only one who
could straighten things out: George W.
Bush. He must put his foot down to
prevent the nice speeches from Aqaba from fading into a cheap peace spectacle
ITALY: "Terrorism, The
Koran And Welfare Are The Weapons Used By Gaza Sheik"
Magdi Allam concluded in left-leaning, influential La
Repubblica (6/13): “The truth is
that Hamas aims at power exactly like Arafat has always done. The only difference is that the Islamists now
have the upper hand. Their suicidal
killers are seriously affecting not only the fate of peace, but also that of
Arafat. The elderly leader, the symbol
of the Palestinian movement, has de facto allied with his former enemies in the
hope of re-conquering power from his current rival, Abu Mazen. The three-party suicide attack last
Sunday--by Hamas, Al Fatah and the Islamic Jihad--symbolized the alliance of
terror between Islamists and lay nationalists.
It is Hamas’ major tactical achievement so far. It has never been as evident as now that the
Islamists control the Palestinian scene.”
"A Peace Force"
Bernardo Valli wrote on the front page of left-leaning,
influential La Repubblica (6/12):
“In these moments, after the latest umpteenth flow of blood, which risks
sinking an already very thin hope for dialogue...once again, it comes naturally
to wonder why a ‘peace force’ contingent, such as those already deployed in
many parts of the world, cannot be used for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Where is the presence of interposition forces
more necessary and indispensable than in the Middle East?... Sovereign states should also impose their
reason when and where the latter is swept away by human passions.”
'The World Should Cut Off Money To Terrorists' "
Paolo Mastrolilli reported from New York in
centrist, influential La Stampa (6/12): In only twenty-four hours, the
violence has put at risk his (Bush’s) new peace initiative...in Aqaba and Sharm
el Sheikh.... The blow suffered (by the
U.S.) is quite serious due to the fact that it comes immediately after
President Bush’s first personal involvement in the Middle East. And the embarrassment becomes even stronger,
if one considers what happened only the day before. In fact, Tuesday, after the failed Israeli
attempt to kill Hamas leader Abdel Aziz Rantisi, the (U.S.) President had
criticized Sharon.... The White
House...was troubled by the timing of the raid against Rantisi. Some diplomatic sources had talked about ‘a
slap in the face’ for Bush, and others suggested that it (Israeli raid) had
been a move to worsen the rifts inside the U.S. Administration about how to
manage the peace process. Obviously,
Washington’s reaction did not at all justify the bombing in Jerusalem, but the
timing decided by Hamas increased the embarrassment of the White House, which
only the day before had criticized Israel of complicating the fight on
terrorism and consequently the implementation of the Road Map. Therefore, in only a few hours, President
Bush personally experienced all the tricks and traps of the Middle East.”
"Israeli Raid Fails, Hamas Leader Survives Missile
Gian Micalessin wrote in pro-government, leading center-right Il
Giornale (6/11): “The Israeli
attempt to kill one of Hamas’ top leaders concluded with a sensational fiasco
and at least two innocent victims....
The failed Israeli attack risks sinking the hopes resulting from the
Aqaba summit. Palestinian PM Abu Mazen
was among the first to condemn the Israeli military reprisal, assessed as an
attempt to disrupt peace negotiations....
Abu Mazen asked Washington to adopt immediate measures to prevent ‘the
deterioration of the situation.’”
AUSTRIA: "False Start
For Middle East Peace Plan"
Helmut L. Müller commented in independent Salzburger
Nachrichten (6/13): “Appeals for
peace from the White House and photo shoots at summit negotiations are
apparently not enough to make the dreadful reality in the Middle East take a
turn for the better. President Bush is going through this sobering experience
right now--his ambitious peace plan is already about to fail, before it has
even started properly. Only a direct, drastic intervention by the super power
in Israel and Palestine that would make both sides accede to the ceasefire
could reverse the current development....
Old patterns of thought and behavior are surfacing again with Israeli
Prime Minister Sharon. He gave his new partner Abbas no time and space to
strengthen his position with his people and try and tackle the terrorist problem
in his own way. Sharon ignored Washington’s warnings, he did not show the least
restraint after new attacks on Israelis, and provoked exactly the opposite with
his attack on Hamas leader Rantisi: The Palestinians are enraged, Abbas’
position is weakened even further, the radicals again have the upper hand. With
his ruthless reaction at a crucial time, Sharon has slammed shut the ‘window of
opportunity’ in the Middle East.”
"Deadlock In The Middle East"
Markus Bernath commented in liberal Der Standard
(6/12): "June 11 is going to go
down as the ‘Black Wednesday’ in the history of the Middle East conflict: The
missile attack on Hamas leader Abdel-Aziz Rantisi was followed by a suicide
attack in Jerusalem, which was in turn followed by another, this time lethal,
attack on a Hamas functionary. Less than one week after the Middle East summit
in Aqaba, the head of the Israeli government, Ariel Sharon, and the militant
Palestinians have twisted the spiral of violence even further. The 'targeted’
attempt to kill Rantisi does not signify a change of course in Israeli policy,
Sharon announced--and that is exactly the problem.... The principle of the ‘Roadmap’ has already
been broken, as a roadmap for peace can only mean that the conflict is
transferred from the battlefield into the political arena. ‘Politics’ here
would mean that the Israeli government gives the new Palestinian Premier Mahmud
Ababs the chance of dealing with the Hamas problem himself.... However, Wednesday’s attack in Jerusalem
seems to prove Sharon right: the act of terrorism would probably also have
happened if Israel hadn’t fired five missiles on Rantisi’s car the day before.
Abbas is not yet capable of stopping the extremists. The roadmap might commit
Israel ‘not to take any actions that undermine trust’--but in one issue, it
meets Sharon halfway: by remaining totally silent on the ‘targeted killing’ of
BELGIUM: “The Spirit Of
Aqaba Is Already Dead And Buried”
Philippe Berkenbaum wrote in left-of-center Le Soir (6/12): "What really happened since Aqaba? First, the U.S. President, after having
spectacularly given the impression to at last commit himself to exerting
pressure to force a resumption of dialogue, returned home without leaving
anything else than words behind him. Those who were hoping for more concrete
gestures than his mere and brief visit to the region soon understood that they
would have to wait for a long time. As
for the new Palestinian Prime Minister, although he is apparently really
willing to make progress, he turns out to be unable to establish the least
authority on the most extremist members of his population.... Even if he really wanted it, Mahmoud Abbas
would sign his own death warrant if he genuinely tried, with his very limited
resources, to confront those who derive their glory from the blood that is shed
by suicide bombers.... But did Israeli
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon really need to authorize the Israeli Army to
continue its targeted killings at the very moment when the resumption of the
peace process required one to avoid these kinds of acts? By trying to kill the Hamas’ number two, the
Israeli Government has at least proven one thing: that nothing has changed for
it since the beginning of the second Intifada. The Israeli right derives its
legitimacy from the violence thanks to which it establishes its authority. As long as the Israelis, who enjoy a genuine
democracy, do not decide to really give peace a chance, this violence will
DENMARK: "Sharon Must
Abandon Occupied Territories"
Centrist Kristeligt Dagblad judged (6/11): "It is crucial, both for the
Palestinians and the Israelis that Sharon starts to accept that the occupied
territories are a hindrance to the peace process. Clearly, this would be a late
stage to make this realization, but not too late."
Criticises Israel For Attack On Hamas Chief"
The center-left Irish Times remarked (6/11): "In his strongest criticism of Israel
since taking office, US President George Bush said yesterday he was 'troubled'
by the Israeli helicopter attack against a senior Hamas figure in Gaza and
directed his top aides to complain to the Israeli government...in a flat
rejection of the argument frequently put forward by Israel--and before now
accepted by Washington--for attacks on the occupied territories.... Some Israeli politicians questioned the
wisdom and timing of the attack, saying it endangered the US-backed road map
and served only to boost Hamas' popularity among Palestinians. The White House
clearly believes the escalation of violence has previously undermined the
US-brokered impetus towards peace on which Mr Bush has staked his personal
PORTUGAL: "Untying The
Fransisco Sarsfield Cabral declared in respected center-left Diário
de Notícias (6/12): "The most
fragile position belongs to Palestinian Prime Minister Abu Mazen.... Sharon has possibilities for making peace
because he is not suspected of being soft towards the enemy. But Sharon might just be playing a tactical
game.... A little while from now, he
could say: I really would have liked it, but as you can see, peace is just not
viable.... It's up to Washington. Is Bush sincerely committed to peace? He has to give that idea now, in order not to
alienate the Arab world even further.
But in November 2004 there are elections in the U.S.... In addition to the Jewish 'lobby', many of
Bush's supporters are Protestant fundamentalists horrified by the presence of
Muslims in the 'Promised Land.' Only a miracle will untie the knot."
ROMANIA: "Tragic And
Cornel Codita said in financial Bursa (6/13): “No matter how tragic and cynical it might
seem, we can say that in the Middle East, the so-called 'fruits of anger' are
only now beginning to ripen. Despite all appearances, problems in the region
are much more complicated than they were 20, 10 or even 5 years ago. And the
solution, no matter how rational it may appear to be, will not win the battle
with those who advocate violence. Because the latter are not just a handful of
'extremists' or 'enthusiasts' anymore, but they have now become a large mass of
people who believe in the struggle with all their heart. That is why they do not hesitate to choose
death as the only response for the Israeli’s so-called 'eye for an eye'
Conservative La Razon declared (6/12): "Israel and Palestine are hostages of
their own extremists...but at some point there has to be an attempt to break
the vicious circle, and nowadays, there is only one power in the world--the
U.S.--able to do it.... Only a firm
American position...will be able to end the absurd strategy of Israeli
reprisals, that not only hasn't been able to stop the Intifada, but has
eliminated, morally and materially, the PLO."
"The Brutality of an Eye for an Eye Torpedoes the Road
independent El Mundo observed (6/12): "The Road Map, as imperfect as it is, is
the only path that has sufficient international support to be able to lead to a
dialogue and able to bring peace to the region.
The Israeli and Palestinian governments should suppress their most
radical elements in order to get the plan off the ground. Revenge is the worst of all choices."
Missiles Aimed At Abbas"
In influential center-left German-language Tages-Anzeiger,
Astrid Frefel held (6/11): "At the
Aqaba summit Sharon announced his support for the Roadmap. In doing so, he committed himself not to do
anything that would further undermine the level of trust between the parties to
the conflict. With yesterday's attack on Abdel Aziz Rantisi he has, in an
intentional, calculated manner, violated that commitment. The missiles were aimed at Rantisi but they
actually hit Palestinian prime minister Mahmoud Abbas. Now it appears Abbas has no chance of convincing
Hamas to accept a cease-fire, which gives Sharon justification he seeks for not
taking any more steps toward peace."
TURKEY: "The Roadmap
Ali Sirmen observed in social democrat-intellectual Cumhuriyet
(6/13): "Only a week later, the roadmap
has been completely shattered. It comes
as no surprise, since the roadmap itself was doomed to fail because of
fundamental uncertainties on both sides.
President Bush's priority in the Middle East is the fight against
terrorism, yet he ignores the fact that Israel's occupation itself is a kind of
terror. The roadmap also fails to
comprehend the fact that Abbas is totally incapable of taking action against
Hammas unless Israel takes some serious steps first.... Sharon's power stems from his acts of retaliation,
which only serve the cause of war, not peace. Sharon's policy is making Hamas
even stronger than before.... It remains
a far-fetched idea to produce peace in the Middle East, as the implementation
of the roadmap and the foundation of a Palestinian state by 2005 seem very
Rantisi-Abu Mazen Missile"
Zvi Bar'el wrote in independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz
(6/13): "The war on the leadership
of Hamas and Islamic Jihad is no longer just a battle against terror
organizations. It is being fought in a
context, and that context is the road map.
Hence the timing of the assassination attempt cannot be dismissed as
inconsequential. Timing, in this case,
is everything.... Is that the end of the
road map? Not necessarily. Palestinian Authority officials believe that
America now understands better than before that Israel is the neighborhood
bully, and it would be a tactical error to release Israel from responsibility
if the Palestinians decide to halt the process.
The best outcome, as far as the Palestinians are concerned, is that
America will start supervising not only the implementation of the road map, but
also the finer points of what Israel is up to, including how it fights
"What Were Bush And Sharon Thinking?"
Gerald M. Steinberg contended in conservative, independent Jerusalem
Post (6/13): "During the Oslo
process, passivity in the face of Palestinian terror and incitement led to
failure and President Bush has repeatedly declared that his administration will
not allow itself to be trapped in a rerun.
Pious words counseling restraint in the face of violence should have
been a nonstarter in this White House.
Nevertheless, in the excitement of orchestrating a new round of summit
meetings these unpleasant realities were forgotten. In failing to plan and coordinate responses
to the inevitable terror attacks, Bush and Sharon, and their advisers, acted
with unbelievable negligence. There is
no indication that they devoted any time or thought in planning for this
scenario.... The damage cannot be
reversed, but Bush and Sharon can prevent a repetition. High-level consultations between Jerusalem
and Washington must begin immediately.
If the Bush administration wants to influence Israeli responses to
terrorism, it must use its resources and influence to force an end to
"After The Map"
Editor-in-Chief Amnon Dankner maintained in popular, pluralist Maariv
(6/13): "The option of an
international administration with a massive international presence, which would
assume responsibility for security, build the Palestinian economy and society,
stop the incitement, rebuild the educational system and a democratic,
non-corrupt political system, looks good superficially, except for one problem:
Israelis are very concerned about complications of the situation resulting from
the international military presence, principally about the possibility that it
wouldn't be able to protect Israel from Palestinian terror.... But even after we pointed out some of the
difficulties, this idea deserves a serious public debate that has not yet taken
place in Israel. A proposal in this
spirit that was raised by Martin Indyk a few months ago has not received
Indeed, if the road map is really floundering on the way to the junkyard
of peace initiatives, and if we are truly returning to our situation of recent
years, alternatives should be seriously tried out, instead of putting up...with
an awful situation that will only get worse."
"Hamas Crimes, Sharon Sins, Bush Mistakes"
Defense and foreign affairs columnist Amir Oren wrote on page one
of independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz (5/12): The crimes of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Tanzim
and the Popular and Democratic Fronts are not the only elements in the
imbroglio created in the last few weeks.
Less than their contribution, but nonetheless serious, were the sins of
Ariel Sharon and the mistakes of George Bush.... One of Bush's mistakes is connected to the
[Israel/West Bank] fence. Instead of
supporting it in principle as a temporary shock absorber...and instead of
insisting the fence not be too far east of the Israel/West Bank line, the
[U.S.] Administration opposed it in its entirety.... Bush's second mistake was giving into the
Palestinian demand...to include the outpost evacuations as part of the first
phase of the road map, instead of making do with security and relieving the suffocating
pressures on the Palestinian population....
Bush's approach, since 9/11 and apparently again after Wednesday, will
slightly increase Israel's maneuverability against the terrorists but unlike
the past it will have to consider the negative impact of its moves on Abu Mazen
and his colleagues. That does not
necessarily guarantee balanced decision-making."
"Words Are Redundant"
Chief Economic Editor and senior writer Sever Plotker opined in
mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot Aharonot (6/12):
"Everything that can be said has already been said. The Palestinian-Israeli war was renewed this
week in all its intensity. In all its
blood. In all its dead. In all its crazy routine. In all its awful cliches.... Arafat...is back, bigger than ever. Abu Mazen has shrunk. The Aqaba summit has shrunk. President Bush has shrunk. Dahlan, where is Dahlan? Who cares where Dahlan is? Welcome to the desert of reality. Can dialogue be held with Hamas? No.
There is no talking to a terror organization.... Bush too cannot compel Hamas to stop
terror. And the all-powerful Bush also
cannot compel Sharon to stop the assassinations. The cause and the effect, the effect and the
cause, it is all jumbled. Who remembers
who started? A cease-fire? Between whom and whom exactly? The Palestinian Authority does not
exist. What does exist in Palestine is
poverty, unemployment, hate, and
fanaticism. The man in the street imbued
with hatred who has nothing to lose except his life, which in any case is worth
nothing.... The government of Israel, as far as formulating foreign policy and
security policy, does not exist. For
three years now there has not been, up there, any exhaustive and serious
discussion on the strategic goals of Israel's foreign and security policy....
There is now a real option that the three-year war will turn into a 30-year
war. There is also the option of it
ending. Implementing this requires
leadership that does not turn its head back to see the faces of the people,
because the people are bewildered, furrowed in wrinkles. Leadership that makes others follow. Where is it?"
"Americans Fear Abu Mazen Is Further Weakened"
Senior columnist and chief defense commentator Zeev Schiff wrote
on page one of independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz (6/12): "The U.S.
Administration is now less interested in Palestinian terrorism and more in the
question of why Ariel Sharon broke his promise, as they see it, to Secretary
Powell. When Powell visited Israel last
month, Sharon promised him not to carry out 'targeted assassinations' as a
punishment, but only in life threatening situations that could be called
'ticking bombs'.... American sources
believe Israel does not understand that after the Aqaba summit, new circumstances
have been created. Sharon's Palestinian
partner Abu Mazen is weak, and has now been weakened further.... The Administration thinks he should be shown
consideration in view of current circumstances, which have become more
difficult after the terrorist acts and the Israeli reaction."
"No Turning Back"
The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized
(6/12): "The terrorist
organizations had no reason to heed Abbas's toothless calls and every reason to
continue their attacks.... In truth, a
policy of Israeli retaliation only serves Abbas's immediate purposes, not least
because they absolve him of the responsibility--and the domestic political
fallout--for taking on Hamas. It might
be argued that this is a responsibility of which Abbas had better discharge
himself. But that argument doesn't wash
as long as Abbas doesn't confront Hams head on.
The task now is not to cower from Hamas' threat of retaliation, as if
retaliation is what these people do. The
task is to strike at Rantisi and his cohorts again, truly to drive the organization
underground, and to create the conditions in which Abbas, if he is sincere, can
assume the responsibilities he made his own at Aqaba. Until that point is reached, there can be no
"The Missile Aimed At Hamas Hits Abbas And Bush"
Zvi Bar'el contended in independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz
(6/11): "When the Palestinian
Authority is fending off attacks from the Palestinian public for being 'an
Israeli-American project,' Israel could not have played better into the hands
of the opponents to the road map.... The
PA has only one answer to the question why Israel decided to eliminate Rantisi
now and not several months ago, when there was no dialogue with the PA and when
there was no Israeli commitment to the road map--Israel wanted to stop the
peace process.... Not only the Hamas has
raked in a huge propaganda profit from the assassination attempt. Another winner is PA Chairman Yasser Arafat,
who can 'prove' that his claims against Israel are true: it is Israel that is
shattering the road map, as some of his aides said Tuesday. Syrian President Bashar Assad is also pleased
with the situation in which the PA, Jordan and Egypt, look as though they have
fallen into the net cast by Israel and Washington."
"Justified But Unnecessary"
Alex Fishman stated in mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot Aharonot
(6/11): "The assassination attempt
on Rantisi did not sabotage the peace process because there is none. Nothing real, in fact, has yet begun.... Delaying the operation in Gaza, in light of
an American request, did indeed bring about the festive opening to the Aqaba
summit on time. But Hamas, led by
Rantisi, made the summit's results into a joke.
Israel learned that the PA was in no hurry to handle security matters. Not only that.... A trap began to take shape: Hamas agrees not
to hit civilians, but it is allowed to hit soldiers, while Israel is not
allowed to respond in the territories....
The Israeli security establishment believes that despite the fact that
Rantisi remains alive, the message was conveyed sharply and clearly. That for a short time Hamas will go wild,
and then Rantisi will very quickly seek some sort of arrangement with the PA
because of the threat hanging over his head....
Now there will be some sort of break in the talks between Israel and the
PA, there will no doubt be a certain halt in contacts for a hudna [temporary
cease-fire]...the threads that were beginning to come together will
unravel. And this is the problem: never,
in the Middle East have talks begun from the same position they left off. They always begin in a worse situation. And it doesn't matter if they were stopped
for two days or two years. The mutual
suspicion is always larger and legitimacy to hold the talks is always smaller. In the case before us, our partners too--Abu
Mazen, Dahlan and the new PA officials--will return to the talks a bit
weaker.... Is this what we want?"
"We, Too, Are Deeply Troubled"
Conservative, independent Jerusalem Post opined
(6/11): "President [Bush]
apparently believes that, by taking out Rantisi, the [Israeli] government is
somehow harming the chances for peace.
To this we can only comment that we were unaware the U.S. believes that
Hamas is an organization worthy of protecting.
We would also point out that Rantisi is an enemy of the U.S. Ahead of the U.S. operation to destroy Saddam
Hussein's regime, Rantisi called on the Iraqis to carry out suicide bombings
against U.S. forces in Iraq.... This of
course brings us to the blatant hypocrisy of the U.S. when considering
Palestinian terrorists.... The only
thing 'political' about a killer like Rantisi is that he orders others to do
the dirty work for him. While the U.S.
can take out anyone related to al-Qaida, it expects Israel to protect bin
Laden's Palestinian counterparts in the terrorism business.... Like Bush, the Jerusalem Post, too, is
deeply troubled by Tuesday's attempt to take out a mass murderer of our fellow
citizens. We are troubled because
Rantisi has lived to murder another day.
We wish the air force better luck in the future in carrying out its
mission of safeguarding the lives of Israeli citizens from the murderous likes
WEST BANK: "Bush And
Hafiz Barghouti commented in semi-official Al-Hayat Al-Jadida
(6/13): “President Bush said he would
invade Afghanistan. And he did. He also said he would invade Iraq. Again, he
did. Before that he declared his vision regarding the establishment of a
Palestinian state and later reiterated the same determination in Sharm el-Sheikh
and Aqaba summit by asserting that he does what he says.... Bush promised in Aqaba that he was willing to
cooperate with President Arafat as much as the latter was willing to support
the roadmap.... Now, it is incumbent
upon the United States to rise up to its responsibility, especially during
these critical moments. President Arafat has done so much through his
statements and repeated calls to support a cease-fire, reflecting a Palestinian
desire in removing any obstacle in the way of achieving this goal.... We are not asking Bush for a new invasion. We
are just asking him to free the West Bank and Gaza Strip from occupation.”
"Assassination Attempt Against
Samih Shbeib opined in independent, pro-PA Al-Ayyam
(6/13): “Maybe one of the most
significant outcomes of the Sharm el-Sheikh and Aqaba summits was the mutual
understanding of the American and Palestinian sides to each other’s point of
views.... The assassination attempt
against Rantissi was an Israeli effort to sabotage this American-Palestinian
understanding.... It is hard to predict
what Sharon would do next in order to further disrupt the American-Palestinian
understanding, evade Israel’s obligations toward the roadmap, and inflame chaos
within the Palestinian people. But despite Sharon’s unpredictable actions,
there is no doubt that the situation is in dire need for a direct American
intervention, especially after the assassination attempt against Rantissi and
the suicide bombing in Jerusalem. The American credibility is now being tested.
The United States can either leave the situation in the lurch, allowing Sharon
to do whatever he wants or take actions to restrain him and open the way toward
implementing the roadmap.”
"The Path Of Violence Has No End"
Independent Al-Quds opined (6/12) “The unfortunate cycle of violence and
counter-violence between Israelis and Palestinians this week will probably
continue indefinitely unless an effective international intervention takes
place. The cycle of violence is a proof
that Israel wasn’t serious when it accepted the roadmap.... Such an acceptance was nothing more than a
political maneuver aiming at achieving specific goals and that its real
position is to maintain occupation and settlements and dodge all peace
initiatives, including those presented by the United States.”
"President Bush: I’m Troubled"
Mohammed Yaghi commented in independent Al-Ayyam
(6/12): “President Bush could not think
of any phrase to express his feeling about the crime that was committed by
Israel in Gaza last Tuesday except ‘I’m troubled,’ which does not carry much of
any political connotation. In other
words, he did not really condemn the crime; instead, he was concerned that such
an operation would not contribute to Israel’s security.... Seven innocent civilians were killed and
dozens others injured and President Bush had nothing to offer to the
Palestinian people more than expressing concern.”
"We Want Action, Not Speeches"
Semi-official Al-Hayat Al-Jadida
published an op-ed signed by the political editor of the Palestinian official
news agency, WAFA, (6/12): ”Many
Palestinians were astonished when they heard President Bush talking about the
suffering of the Palestinians, emphasizing the need for the creation of a
sovereign Palestinian state. They found
it hard to believe, so much so that they thought the American president was up
to some kind of maneuver or conspiracy....
However, the Palestinians decided to give him a chance to prove his good
intentions and willingness to translate them into actions on the ground. So what has happened?... Since the Sharm el-Sheikh and Aqaba summits,
the Israelis have carried out actions aimed at coercing and humiliating the
Palestinians as well as tightening the siege and restrictions against
them.... The objective was to provoke
the Palestinians into carrying out an operation that Israel could use as a
pretext for further killing, repression, and destruction.... With the terrorist, brutal, gratuitous
killing committed by Sharon yesterday in the heart of Gaza and Jabalya, he
placed the American administration in a major predicament. It is no longer acceptable that the American
administration, which is now fully involved in the peace process and which
seeks to implement the roadmap, give in to the blackmail of the 'Israeli
ally.' What, then, should be done? What is the remedy? How can the American administration deal with
an enraged bull [Israeli PM Sharon] that nothing can stop, one that possesses
the highest levels of destruction technology?
The answers are left to the U.S.”
Under High Pressure"
Business-oriented French-language La Tribune contended
(6/10): "Admittedly, what was at
stake in Bush’s tour in the Middle East, so widely promoted in the media, was
not the signature of agreements, premature in this first step of the peace
plan, but declarations with political and symbolic value-added, in order to put
the process itself on rails.... This is a
test for the United States, whose image has so much deteriorated, with a
head-of-state determined to win a second mandate and conduct a peace-process in
the Middle East, which is judged strategic for the American national
security.... As for anti-terrorism
cooperation, which has become the leitmotif of the White House since September
11, Bush made the following remark: ‘People are scared by terrorism in the
Middle East, not only in Israel.’ In the framework of the discussion of the
peace process, for the United States, it is above all a matter of preventing a
distinction between resistance and terrorism.”
EGYPT: "Attempts To
Destroy Peaceful Settlement"
Leading pro-government Al Ahram’s unsigned editorial read
(6/12): “Violent acts on either sides push the other to commit horrible
reactions.... They cause frustration to
spread among public opinion. They can
lead to the shackling of international, especially U.S., efforts to reactive
the peace process. The operation
committed by Palestinian resistance was non-traditional because three military
factions were allied and losses were major.
The Israeli army’s ‘small missile war’ against Rantissi was no less
dangerous.... All these operations aim
at the destruction of the roadmap and seek to bring back the state of war
between the two sides. This should be
dealt with seriously.”
Said Sonbol observed in aggressive pro-government Al Akhbar
(6/12): “Simply stated, the attempt to assassinate Rantissi aimed at the
assassination of the roadmap--a roadmap accepted, apparently, by Sharon only
under American pressure.... President
Bush was troubled by this operation....
But this is not enough. That
America was satisfied with only talking about the roadmap and did not try put a
mechanism in place for its implementation--that is the problem.”
"Violence Will Not Settle Matters"
Leading pro-government Al Ahram opined (6/11): “Scarcely had a few days passed after the
Aqaba summit raising hopes for achieving peace and stability in the region,
than violence between the Palestinian and Israeli sides reappeared.... This deterioration confirms that the dispute
is complicated and the solution is not about celebrations and statements but
about serious steps including true and
courageous sacrifices from both sides...especially as the U.S. has a strong
desire to achieve peace.... Clearly, the
roadmap is in danger of collapse if it is not implemented seriously and without
amendments. As Egypt warned, the only
way out of the cycle of violence is actual involvement in measures to achieve
peace, not violent acts and assassinations of Palestinian leaders, which ignite
Palestinian reactions and [so] the cycle of violence continues.... Sharon’s government has not changed its
methods and despite a symbolic elimination of illegal settlements, it has not
taken real steps to implement the roadmap.
Without resolution of the Palestinian issue, the region will never enjoy
peace or stability.”
"Aggression Does Not Equate To Struggle"
Aggressive pro-government Al Akhbar Editor-in-chief Galal
Dowidar maintained (6/11): “Ending the
bloodbath in Palestine is not the responsibility of the Palestinian factions,
but of the killer Sharon and his extremist government. The Israeli occupiers, who commit murder,
demolition of houses and destruction of land, are responsible for calm. It is strange that the Bush administration,
biased with international Zionism, equates Israeli killers and occupiers to
Palestinians fighting to liberate their land. Washington has a duty to be fair
and credible in its goals and principles which should be in harmony with
international legitimacy with a Palestinian right of self-determination...and
JORDAN: “Attempting To
Assassinate The Roadmap”
Urayb Rintawi wrote in center-left, influential Arabic-language Al-Dustour
(6/11): “Israel’s assassination attempt
against Abdul Aziz Rantisi was nothing but an attempt to abort the roadmap and
this opportunity to achieve just and lasting peace.... Israel would not have gone this far in its
insane war against the Palestinian people and in its bloody targeting of the
peace process and with it Palestinian rights and lives, had it not been for
America’s silence about these crimes and the encouragement that the extremist
and blood-thirsty right-wing Israelis receive from the U.S.
administration. Washington placed the
war criminal on a pedestal, and it is up to it alone to bring him down from it,
if it really wants to give peace a chance.”
“An Attempt To Assassinate Rantisi Or The Peace Efforts?”
Mohammad Amayreh commented in semi-official, influential
Arabic-language Al-Rai (6/11):
“Right from the beginning, we said that it is difficult to be reassured
by Sharon’s promises or by his intentions towards implementing the
roadmap. The Israeli army, yesterday,
tried to assassinate one of the Hamas leaders in Gaza. This assassination attempt, for which Israeli
helicopters were used, was undoubtedly sanctioned by Sharon. Even though the Israeli government
categorizes this attempt as part of combating terrorism, the outcome
contradicts everything that was agreed upon, including the truce or ceasefire
agreement and the promise to grant the Palestinian prime minister the
opportunity to deal with the Palestinian factions to try to convince them to
stop the so-called ‘violence’. This
assassination attempt, which is not the first of its kind, constitutes a clear
Israeli effort to impede the implementation of the roadmap. It is a crime to be added to Sharon’s already
full record of bloody crimes against the Palestinian people and their combatant
LEBANON: "The War Of
Rafiq Khoury said in centrist Al-Anwar (6/13): "Let us see what the war can do: Other than more victims and more suffering,
it can score additional points upon the tomb of the road map.... It will marginalize the Palestinian
Authority...that cannot really discard the commitments it took upon itself at
the Aqaba Summit, but at the same time it is suffering Hamas' war which is not
its own war, and suffering Sharon's retaliation...who seems determined to put
obstacles in the path of Palestinian statehood.
Over and above these problems, the horizon for solutions seems to be
totally closed...and all are waiting for what President Bush will do while he
sees his project in the region going to ruin."
"American Jewry's Moment Of Truth Now"
The moderate, English-language Daily Star declared
(6/13): "No one knows where,
exactly, the road map will take Israelis and Palestinians. But any fool can see that the current course
will only lead to an ever-expanding circle of hatred and violence.... For a variety of reasons, the lone actor
capable of restoring order by becoming a forceful and objective arbiter is the
United States.... The reverse side of
this slippery coin, though, is that the Bush administration cannot play its
proper role in the Middle East so long as it fears being stabbed in the back at
home. Only one party can provide the
necessary cover to keep Capitol Hill and the American electoral system from
punishing the president for trying to do the right thing: The American Jewish community has to be the
quarter from which the call comes at last for Washington to put its foot down
squarely in the Middle."
"Every Palestinian Became 'Hamas' And The 'Islamic Jihad'"
Aouni Al-Kaaki wrote in pro-Syria Ash-Sharq (6/12): "The suicide operation that took place
in Jerusalem is not only a reaction to the failed attempt to assassinate
Rantisi because this is an unacceptable simplification of an operation that is
considered the highest form of suicide operations. In fact, the issue reflects Israel's
inability to digest the idea of peace in the first place.... Basically Sharon does not want the road map
in spite of the fact that it is in Israel's interest: He wanted to maneuver so he accepted the
plan, but continued his policy of killing, assassination, and
destruction.... Seeing the situation,
every Palestinian became 'Hamas' and the 'Islamic Jihad' and every Palestinian
became a military leader who takes decisions to launch operations."
Sahar Baasiri opined in moderate, anti-Syrian An-Nahar
(6/11): "Ariel Sharon has his own
understanding of the roadmap and the commitments it entails. He synchronized between dismantling
unlicensed settlements and continuing the policy of assassinations.... Perhaps Sharon thinks that the Bush
Administration is ready to understand his 'understanding' of the roadmap and
his efforts to balance between doing what the roadmap requires and trying to
sabotage it at the same time.... There
is no doubt that what Sharon is doing is a play. His decision to dismantle unlicensed
settlements is only like smoke to cover his decision to continue killings and
assassinations.... What Sharon really
did is target...President Bush's peace efforts."
"A Burnt Road Map And Several Roads"
Rafiq Khoury thundered in centrist Al-Anwar (6/11): "Nothing is more dangerous than the
assassination attempt in Gaza except its timing.... Rantisi was missed, but the missiles burned
the road map which is in the hand of Mahmoud Abbas, and left his government
among the wounded. The Israeli missiles also hit the Sharm el-Sheikh summit,
and its shrapnel reached the walls of the White House.... Now, Bush is troubled, and Arab leaders are
worried and Abou Mazen is embarrassed and angry. No one can do anything except ask the U.S. to
exert pressure on Israel and try to save the dialogue between the Palestinian
Authority and Palestinian Resistance Factions.... Sharon only wants the roadmap in order to end
the idea of resistance and its weapons, then he wants to close the road towards
establishing a viable Palestinian state."
MOROCCO: "The Two
Sides Share Equal Blame"
Government-owned RTM Radio opined (6/12): “The Israeli assassination attempt was
designed to undermine the roadmap, and Hamas’s retaliation was a further blow
to the prospect of a ceasefire days before the head of Egypt's intelligence
service was expected to travel to Israel to help broker such a deal. President Bush, who described Hamas’s
reaction as a terrorist attack did not use such hard words against the Israeli
response.... Assassinations on both
sides--and the two sides share equal blame--will complicate matters and make it
more difficult for the Palestinian leadership to deal with terrorist attacks. The roadmap has a long way to go and too many
challenges to face unless the U.S. exerts real pressure on Israel.”
Riyadh's English-language moderate Riyadh Daily declared
(6/11): "Israel's attempt to
assassinate Hamas leader Abdulaziz Al-Rantissi in Gaza yesterday is the most
glaring illustration of Tel Aviv's intent to blow up the newly launched peace
process. It is also vivid from the
attack that Israel has not dropped its dreaded and much-condemned assassination
policy despite the unveiling of the Road Map, as lately as last week.... If the Road Map has indeed to see its full
course, it is time that the world addresses Israeli terrorism with the same
fervor that it does in other parts of the world. A selective look at terror would only
undermine the international community's global war against terror."
"Will Rantissi Declare The Demise Of The Roadmap?"
Riyadh's conservative Al-Riyadh concluded (6/11): "Israel cannot settle its dispute with
the Palestinians with assassinations and the demolishing of homes.... Israel will claim that what it has done with
Al-Rantissi previously has achieved success in its attempts to hunt Palestinian
leaders whose views do not agree with her.
But its action has enhanced a conventional wisdom among Palestinians that
Israel is an enemy.... By the same
token, perhaps the attack was directed to Abu-Mazen personally as an acceptable
leader to Israel, some Palestinian factions and the U.S. What this means, it
means that undermining of the roadmap was not an action of Hamas and other
Palestinian organizations, but was the action of top Israeli planners. The U.S. must stop such criminal actions in
order not to classify her as well as an enemy."
"The Bloody Maneuver"
Jeddah's moderate Okaz editorialized (6/11): "Yesterday's events in Gaza raise a
question about Sharon's seriousness about the peace plan. Sharon's past records are full of bloody
incidents. But yesterday's attack came
at a critical moment. The
trustworthiness of the American and Israeli governments is at stake here. The American reaction must come in the form
of clear and transparent answers to all the questions. It also should be quick
before all the roads that lead to peace get blocked and occupied Palestinian lands
go back to showers of blood."
SYRIA: "Israel Should
First Commit To The Basis Of Peace"
Izziddin Darwish commented in government-owned Tishreen
(6/12): "The issue of committing
Israel to the bases of peace is the decisive element. It is the first step...to
peace.... Sharon's attempt to assassinate
HAMAS leader al-Rantissi comes within the framework of Israeli schemes to
torpedo peace moves...but this effort, which was designed to plant unrest among
Palestinians and cause a Palestinian civil war, was doomed to failure.... The strange irony is that that the Sharon
government will persist in killing, terrorizing and building settlements, while
demanding the Palestinian Authority strike at Palestinian nationalist groups
without holding dialogue with them. The goal behind this, as claimed by Israel,
is to reach peace. But will this convince anybody?"
An unsigned editorial in government-owned Tishreen said
(6/11): "The terrorist assassin
Sharon has failed yesterday in assassinating Dr. Abdul-Azia al-Rantissi, a
prominent Hamas figure.... Doesn't this
Israeli escalation mean a direct military assault on the Sharm al-Sheikh and
Aqaba meetings and their outcomes? Doesn't this prove that the Sharon
government is serious in torpedoing any peaceful endeavor--even though it is
within its minimum limits and takes into consideration Israel's security
demands and reservations on the Roadmap which is produced by the International
Quartet, and whose implementation is exclusively assigned for the US
Administration?.... Undoubtedly Israel
endeavors, through Sharon's extremist government not only to assassinate the
nationalist Palestinian cadres, but to assassinate all the peace efforts and to
silence any talk about peace.... No one
believes that the US Administration needs additional information about Israel's
policies. It is certainly most cognizant of them due to its strategic alliance
with Israel and their continuing consultations on all details. If Israel persists in occupation, organized terrorism,
assassination of Palestinian political cadres and nationalist figures using
most lethal US arms, how could we talk about peace?"
Chokri Baccouche, Editor-in-Chief of independent French-language Le
Quotidien, stated (6/13): "The
tragic events which have shaken the Middle East over the last 48 hours were
foreseeable and represent, in the eyes of observers, a logical consequence of
the execrable and desperate situation prevailing on the ground.The Aqaba Summit,
which put face-to-face American President George W. Bush, Israeli PM, Ariel
Sharon and the Palestinian PM Abu Mazen was, at the end, just another forum for
sweet talk and promises. In fact, as soon as the paper lanterns went off, the
real intentions of the Sharon became clear. His attempt to assassinate
Abdelaziz Rantissi--Hamas' movement leader--elucidates once again that Ariel
Sharon is not ready to give up his policy aimed at liquidating Palestinian
leaders.... Sharon's misdemeanor has
torpedoed the efforts invested to implement peace in the region. Sharon hit
hard the Road Map project...whose implementation seems to fall within the realm
of utopia.... The international
community, headed by the United States, should be more involved in the peace
process and must not be content with vague expressions of condemnation of such
acts of violence."
"Who Sees Any Interest In Torpedoing Peace?"
Noureddine Hlaoui, Editor-in-Chief, held in independent
French-language Le Temps (6/12):
"Successive dramatic events took place yesterday in the Palestinian
territories and Israel, where during a short lapse of time, 24 people,
Palestinians and Israelis, were killed....
In fact, at a time when all parties where calling for appeasing of
tensions, notably Mahmoud Abbas' attempts to obtain a cessation of attacks on
the part of resistance movements who are frustrated and desperate after much
equivocation by the Israeli government, Sharon chose that precise time to
launch his pernicious attempt to assassinate a prominent Hamas leader. Despite
virulent criticism by the international community, particularly by the United
States, Sharon proceeded with his arrogant determination aimed at liquidating
people he judges 'threatening' to Israel's security.... It is clear that both the Palestinians and
Israelis are pointing fingers at each other and claiming that it is rather the
other party who is resuming this new cycle of violence, but, who sees any
interest in torpedoing peace?.... Will
President Bush manage to resist the Machiavellian inclinations of Sharon, this
fierce enemy of peace?"
"The Reasons Of A Zionist State"
Raouf Khalsi opined in independent French-language Le Temps
(6/11): "Why did Israel chose this
precise timing of hope raised by the Road Map to launch an attack on Hamas
spokesman Rantissi? And why did they target Rantissi, in particular, a person
who tried last Monday to leave the lines of communication open with the
Palestinian Authority on a potential truce? There is no doubt that Israel,
faithful to its habits, does not waste any time in citing, as a pretext, the
risk of the rupture of inter-Palestinian negotiations by Hamas, a resistance
movement that considered that Abu Mazen made too many concessions during
Al-Aqaba Summit. Yet, Rantissi himself has tried to moderate his position,
raising at the same time "new elements", which, according to him,
must be examined to justify the adjournment of negotiations.... Pretexts as usual, there is reason to fear
the Israeli stubbornness to torpedo the peace process.... The end goal of the Zionist State is war.
Bush Jr., instigator of Al-Aqaba and probably of a new Camp David of dupes,
will witness the rebellion of Sharon, who is evidently 'genetically' incapable
of talking peace."
"What Is Israel After?"
Nourreddine Achour, Editor-in-Chief, wrote in independent
Arabic-language As-Sabah (6/11):
"It has become evident that Sharon is preparing for a new phase in
Israel's relations with the Palestinians. So after having murdered active
resistance members...and after exerting a lot of pressure on the American
Administration to limit the role played by Arafat, it seems that Israel is
looking for the expansion of the scope of the Palestinian-Palestinian
differences.... In fact, just following
the Sharm-el-Sheikh and Al-Aqaba summits, a concealed clash between different
Palestinian resistance factions and PM Abu Mazen have started to take shape,
tolling the bell for a kind of a civil war....
Will the Bush administration show its commitment to implement the Road
Map during these difficult moments?"
Sharjah-based pan-Arab Al Khaleej declared (6/11): "There is no solution with these
assassins. After 55 years of
'attempting' them, it is time for the concerned people in Palestine and the
Arab countries to stop these 'attempts' and 'tests' that might lead to the
surrender of the whole region, not only Palestine, to those 'Nazis' and all who
support them and cover up for their massacres."
"Who Will Stop Sharon"
Abu Dhabi-based pan-Arab Akhbar Al Arab editorialized
(6/11): "The government of Sharon
will not miss an opportunity to emphasize its hostility towards peace and its
insistence on burying any chance for this process (peace). The obligation of the international community
is to express its refusal of this government's hostile and immoral
CHINA: "The U.S.
Continued Its Efforts To Promote The Road Map"
Wu Jianyou observed in official intellectual Guangming Daily
(6/11): “Media indicate that Bush’s
Middle East tour was a turning point in the Palestine-Israel peace process and
provided a chance for Palestinian-Israeli talks which had floundered for 2
years. However, it is not realistic to
expect a dramatic change in the Middle East peace process. There are two points that we should think
about: firstly, the complexity of the issue and its protracted nature;
secondly, Arafat’s role in the peace process.”
JAPAN: "Trial Of
Liberal Mainichi editorialized (6/13): "Wednesday's suicide bus bombing in
Jerusalem put the U.S.-backed 'road map' peace plan at risk. But it is not just
Israel and the Palestinians but the U.S. and the rest of the international
community should share the hardship of this emerging crisis. Prime Ministers
Sharon and Abbas accepted the 'road map' plan at the recent Aqaba meeting
initiated by President Bush in the face of continued concerns over
'unstoppable' acts of terrorism. Only
one week later, such concerns became a reality in the form of a suicide bus
bombing. Palestinian acts of terrorism and Israeli retaliatory military strikes
have only created feelings of hatred, desperation and helplessness on both
sides. But the ultimate end of this 'road map' peace plan is the establishment
of an independent Palestinian state and the guarantee of Israel's national
existence. The world community should convince that peace will come if the two
warring sides that if they overcome mutual hatred."
"A Grave Threat to 'Road Map' Peace Plan"
Top-circulation, moderate Yomiuri's Jerusalem correspondent
Tohma observed (6/12): "What
appeared to be a suicide bus bombing in Jerusalem on Wednesday in retaliation
for an Israeli military strike against a Hamas leader threw cold water on the
spirit of peace shown at the Aqaba meeting. The prospects for peace appear to
“Israel-Palestine Spoil Roadmap To Peace”
Leading independent Kompas observed
(6/13): “The peace process in the Middle
East was again spoiled by both the Israelis and Palestinians through violence.
Israel provoked it with an attempt to assassinate a Hamas leader and the
Palestinians retaliated with a suicide bombing.... [President] Bush strongly deplored the
bombing in Jerusalem that took many lives...and the attempt to kill the Hamas
leader.... He also said he does not
believe Israel’s attack will help maintain security in Israel.... Therefore, the world’s support is needed so
that the Roadmap, which set a target of the establishment of a Palestinian
state in 2005, will not be abandoned.
Failure to implement the Roadmap will only add chaos in the Middle
The nationalist Hindustan Times opined (6/13): "Probably the only thing that will
prevent the roadmap from going the way of all those peace plans of the past is
the enthusiasm of President George W. Bush....
Bush apparently made the mistake of not having a follow-up mechanism to
maintain the momentum he achieved at Aqaba, leaving the Arabs and Jews to work
out their own confidence-building measures....
So much will now depend on how aggressively Mr. Bush uses his
Texan-style diplomacy to din some sense into both Arabs and Jews. He could
start by telling them that they share a neighborhood with little space, and
even less water, and that clenched fists can't shake hands."
Al-Quds It Is Poetic Justice"
The Islamabad-based rightist English-language Pakistan Observer
asserted (6/13): "Surpassingly sad
though the loss of life in occupied Al-Quds is, only feeble minds and myopic
eyes would be surprised over the incident last Wednesday. This was something that was waiting to happen
with an obvious certainty. Washington
seems to have an inexhaustible capacity to beguile itself and pat itself on the
back after every misconceived decision it makes. Only the smug authors of the roadmap would
have convinced themselves that it would lead to some paradise on earth. What happened in Al-Quds is, in fact, the
only destination that roadmap could possibly lead to.... The suicide bomber pays the price in advance. This cannot be said for tanks vomiting death
on a mass scale. The correct advice
that should issue from Washington to Tel Aviv is to make friends with your
"Middle East: Roadmap
For Peace And Israel's Aggressive Attitude"
Pro-Muslim League-N Urdu-language Pakistan contended
(6/13): "As the serious efforts for
peace in the Middle East continue, Israeli helicopters attacks on Palestine and
the response by Palestinian jihadi organization Hammas are regrettable. But Israel's aggression and military action
in Gaza and refugee camps are more condemnable.
President Bush's expression of concern over the Israeli action proves
that America, too, considers Israel responsible for the escalation in the
"U.S. Peace Plan"
Karachi-based right-wing, pro-Islamic unity Urdu-language Jasarat
noted (6/12): "The U.S. has only
expressed its concern over the latest Israeli rocket attack on a Palestinian
leader. However, this attack has given
credence to the presumption that the U.S., Israel and the Palestinian Prime
Minister himself are not interested in the establishment of peace. They are
more interested in crushing the resistance movement of Palestinians, after
which the Palestinians would be forced to accept the political charity of the
U.S. and Israel."
"ME Peace Prospects"
Dr. Rashid Ahmad Khan stated in the center-right national
English-language Nation (6/11):
"The Middle East Roadmap for the resolution of the longstanding and
highly complex problem of the Arab-Israel conflict has a number of serious
snags; and there are also numerous obstacles in the way of its smooth
implementation. Even the U.S. authorities and western quarters are only
cautiously optimistic about its success.
President Bush has termed it as only a beginning with a new opening in
search for peace in the region. But there are some new realities or, as US
Secretary of State Mr. Colin Powell put it, 'new conditions", which raise
the prospects of its success. It has been unanimously sponsored by the U.S., EU
and Russia. For the first time Israel
has accepted the right of the Palestinians to have their own state in the land
that they have been living in for centuries.
All the influential Arab states have supported it. This is very crucial, because the
Palestinians and Palestinian Authority are heavily dependent upon the financial
assistance from the oil rich Arab States.
The OIC has not opposed it. Last but not least, the initiative has been
announced at a time when the international community has rejected the use of
violence as a tool for gaining political objectives. Both Israel and the Palestinians would,
therefore, come under increasing pressure from their friends and supporters to
make peace and take the road of reconciliation instead of war and
The centrist national English-language News declared
(6/11): "The chances of any success
of reining in militant groups are further diminished by the recent targeted
killing incidents. One of the demands of
the Palestinian Prime Minister was an immediate halt to such serial
assassinations, as these instead of weakening or breaking the vicious circle
further strengthened the cause of the militant groups. The onus of making the roadmap a success,
however, lies more on the United States and Israel than the Palestinians,
especially as Palestine President Yasser Arafat is out of the scene now. Cosmetic steps such as dismantling very few
newly-built settlements or of uninhabited settlement posts are, for one,
against the spirit of the roadmap and will further create hurdles in the path
to peace. Since Washington enjoys the
status of being a main player and has influence over Tel Aviv, it must ensure
that honest efforts and concrete steps are taken to settle the issue, which has
been simmering for a long time."
SOUTH AFRICA: "Blow
The liberal Star commented (6/13): "The most recent killings in the Middle
East are shocking, the more so because there was real hope that peace was on
the horizon.... What happened...has
indeed been a severe blow to President Bush's plans to establish a road map to
peace. But even a severe set back cannot
and must not mean an end to these efforts.
The involvement of Washington is crucial, although it might well be part
of the problem. But more important is
that the Israeli and a Palestinian leadership should realize that the
alternative to accommodation is ongoing turmoil."
"Don't Give Up On Peace"
Balanced Business Day opined (6/13):
"While...President...Bush does not seem to be getting anywhere with the
latest peace plan...that does not mean he should stop trying. The US is probably the best-placed power that
can keep the two sides talking and, like a hostage negotiator, Bush must keep
going until the situation is defused.
Permanently.... The world must
ensure that the people of Palestine secure their legitimate rights."
"Middle East Crisis"
The liberal Mercury held (6/13): "Part of the problem is that Palestinian
Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas does not have the security apparatus to rein in
the terror groups.... He cannot deliver
his side of the bargain, which gives extremists on the other side every pretext
for military action. The road map is a
world initiative--the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United
Nations itself. It ought not be beyond
the capacity of that line-up to assist with creating an effective Palestinian
UGANDA: "Don’t Exclude
The government-owned New Vision editorialized (6/13): "Barely a week after hopes were renewed
for peace in Israel and Palestine, it has all gone up in flames with fresh
escalation of violence.... It is easy to
see why Israel wants to eliminate Rantissi. As the head of Hamas, a very
militant group, he has vowed to leave no Jew on land he deems to be exclusively
for Palestinians. Of course he is wrong. Both Jews and Palestinians have a
legitimate historical claim to the land that their ancestors have lived on, in
various arrangements, over thousands of years. Rantissi is not a single
individual. He is a representative of a large constituency. The challenge is to
appeal to this constituency, and bring it round to moderating its stand. The
best placed individual to guarantee that by appealing to all sides is
Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat. Abbas is a fine fellow, but he
lacks the kind of legitimacy that Arafat has with Palestinians and others who
have a genuine concern that Israel and Palestine accommodate each other."
"Honesty And Tolerance Will Make Roadmap A Success"
The Muslim weekly Message stated (6/12): "The road map
peace plan...calls for a number of steps to be taken by both Israel and
Palestine to end the current wave of violence and move rapidly to a final end
of this conflict on the basis of two states living side by side.... It must be noted that the Palestinian
Authority has fully accepted the roadmap and Israel has conditionally approved
it in the cabinet session. The final
status is then to be negotiated. This includes deciding issues of Jerusalem,
boarders, settlements and refugees. However, the roadmap does not spell out the
parameters for any of these issues. This
ambiguity is a potential serious pitfall of the roadmap.... The Palestinians have no significant
negotiating leverage other than their willingness to engage in violent
resistance to occupation. This resistance has included both legitimate
resistance according to International law and illegitimate resistance like
terrorism. It is logical to ask the
Palestinians to cease all violence except as self -defense in response to
direct aggression in exchange for meaningful political process. I however fully support the right of
Palestinians to engage in non-violent resistance during the road map
process.... I hold it strongly that if
the road map is implemented in good faith, there is no doubt that peace will
finally prevail. The United States should not allow Israel to impose unilateral
parameters on the final status.... This
is the time for President Bush to show that his country is serious because the
US is viewed as an un-honest broker in the Muslim World and must demonstrate
its even handedness before acting as a true broker in the negations."
CANADA: "Hamas Vs.
The conservative National Post declared (6/12): "We find it bizarre that Mr. Bush would
upbraid Mr. Sharon for his attack on Mr. Rantisi. As the United States itself
has shown, targeted assassinations are now an accepted part of the Western
counterterrorist arsenal.... The peace
process may not survive this week's violence. But even if it does, it is clear
negotiations between the Palestinian Authority and Israel will have to be conducted
in parallel with a vigorous counterterrorist campaign against Hamas and its
allies. Such a parallel strategy may prove impossible--because Mr. Abbas'
constituents will be too stirred up in support of Hamas to make continued
negotiations practicable. On the other hand, if a majority of Palestinians
still support a group that seeks to exterminate innocent Jews and that rejects
the state of Israel's existence, perhaps the time is not yet ripe for peace
“Roadmap In Tatters”
The centrist Winnipeg Free Press editorialized (6/11): "In the eyes of the Palestinians and the
Israelis, it is only Palestinians and Israelis who have only their interests at
heart. Mr. Bush has an agenda, Europe has an agenda, the Arabs have an agenda
in which Israel and Palestine play just a part. International efforts are
useful and must continue. They will play an important part in any ultimate
peace. But ultimately, peace will be agreed on--or not--by Israelis and
Palestinians looking out for themselves, not playing the roles assigned to them
in agendas of their international mentors or in the dreams of foreign
Urgency To Avoid Violence Before It Jeopardizes The Road Map"
Ines Capdevila held in daily-of-record La Nacion
(6/12): "In less than a week, a
vertiginous succession of attacks and reprisals took place, as in the past
three years. This time, it was not only Palestinian attacks, Israel's reprisals
and tens of civilian casualties; it was also a matter of timing. Violence
jeopardized the plan with the best chances in years of bringing peace to the
Middle East, precisely when it had kicked off. But it's not necessarily
dead.... The attack against Hamas may
have been a concession to the ultra right wing.... But he also made clear that he would continue
with his political moves to advance the peace process.... Otherwise, Sharon would be placing White
House support at stake, and he would also risk moving away from Bush, who hates
failures in international politics--and particularly in one situation in which
he's personally involved--and he would be isolating Israel like never before,
leading his country to a blind cycle of violence and economic crisis."
Right-of-center O Globo opined (6/12): "Israel's attack against the Hamas
leader was a serious mistake. It's now
more difficult for the Palestinian Prime Minister Abbas to fulfill the promise
of disarming activists and restraining terrorism.... The suicidal-attack against Israeli civilians
in Jerusalem confirms the homicidal intolerance of Palestinian extremists and
their capacity to blow up the peace initiative.
It's now easier to Prime Minister Sharon to forget his share in the
commitments made in Aqaba.... Thus, the
roadmap for peace--in which President Bush has invested warlike credibility and
diplomatic capital--is running the risk of ending up, like previous plans, in
the garbage can.... Unless Bush makes an
special effort to save the most serious diplomatic initiative of his
"Peace Under Attack"
An editorial in liberal Folha de S. Paulo said (6/12): "The new cycle of violence that has
erupted in the Middle East dims the prospects for peace between Israel and the
Palestinians.... In order to make the
current [peace] initiative work where others have failed, the
U.S.--strengthened in the Middle East after the victory in Iraq--must exert
diplomatic pressure on both sides, especially on Ariel Sharon. If Israel does
not moderate its actions and give Abu Mazen an opportunity to negotiate with
radicals on his side, the plan is destined to fail."
Right-of-center O Globo noted (6/10): "The Peace accord signed last Wednesday
in Aqaba by Palestinian and Israeli leaders has no value to Palestinian armed
groups. Against the Israeli occupation they recognize only one arm: Brutal
force.... [Last Sunday's] attack
infuriated the Israeli government, of course.
But not to the point of burying the peace initiative sponsored by the
U.S., European Union and Russia. Prime
Minister Sharon even made a point to show he is disposed to fulfill his share:
Despite the violence he demanded dismantling Jewish settlements in the West
Bank. But as we know his patience
doesn't last long. Palestinian Prime
Minister Abbas is facing the greatest challenge.... If the Palestinian Prime Minister fails that
will be the failure of another peace plan.
To pass to another stage the attacks must stop. If the dialogue fails the alternative is
repression. But Abbas fears provoking a civil war in the territories.... The USG is giving signs it's aware of the
Palestinian leaders' difficulties.
National Security adviser Condoleezza Rice, in a TV program, suggested
Arab neighbors should help Abbas to deal with the militants if they want
peace. It's a good advice; the Prime
Minister's position is still too fragile for the size of the commitment he took
MEXICO: "No Possible
Defense Against Suicide Attempts "
Old-guard nationalist El Universal
maintained (6/12): "Yesterday's
attempt in one of the best guarded areas of Jerusalem demonstrates the
vulnerability of the Israeli society, as well as the inability of Israeli
authorities to prevent these actions. In
other words, there is no possible defense against the strategy of fanatic
suicides. This is demonstrated by the 36
years of Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory. Therefore, the only way out would be the
fulfillment by Israel of UN resolutions ordering the withdrawal from occupied
territories…. The current Israeli
strategy has not worked for more than three decades, isn't it about time to try
other ways to reach the expectations of security and tranquility of the Jewish
"Peace Utopia Between Palestinians And Israelis"
Eugenio Anguiano wrote in old-guard nationalist El
Universal (6/11): "Just a few
days after the spectacular meeting President Bush held with Israeli Prime
Minister Sharon and Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Abu Mazen the roadmap
has begun to sink…. Extremist on both
sides are torpedoing the agreement. The
two problems are: on the Israeli side the resistance to stop and abandon the
colonization of Palestinian territories...and on the Palestinian side the
resistance of Hamas and other organizations to accept Mazen's commitment--even
though the Intifada has caused over 3,500 deaths, there is a long list of
Palestinian women and men ready to die in terrorist attacks. The drama is not the existence of thousands
of extremist Israelis and Palestinians, but the millions of Israelis and
Palestinians who are hostage to the radicals on both sides."