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July 01, 1994 - Image 53

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1994-07-01

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

While you're enjoying the outdoors
don't forget about your indoors.

served Tel Aviv University ana-
lyst Barry Rubin, seems to have
no intrinsic goals in the Israeli-
Palestinian negotiations.
Instead, as the Oslo and Cairo
agreements have shown, what-
ever the two sides agree upon is
fine with Washington. The same
is essentially true, Mr. Rubin be-
lieves, of the talks between Is-
rael and Syria.
"Washington may be pushing
these negotiations because it
needs a foreign-policy success
more than Jerusalem does," he
said. "But a full withdrawal from
the Golan Heights is not dictat-
ed by any inherent American in-
terest."
• Even the traditional Amer-
ican role of an "honest broker"
has undergone modification that
has spawned some unexpected
ironies. The more "even-handed"
policy of the Bush Administra-
tion may have helped hold-outs
such as Syria take the plunge into

Washington has
become a more
passive international
player, reflecting the
American public's
loss of interest in
world affairs.

peace talks with Israel. But ul-
timately, proposed Tel Aviv Uni-
versity analyst Shai Feldman, it
was the strong pro-Israel orien-
tation of the Clinton Adminis-
tration that led to the first
breakthrough in the peace
process: the Oslo Agreement.
For with the United States so
strongly identified with Israel,
the PLO concluded that it was
better off talking directly with Is-
rael than working through Wash-
ington.
The drawback to this situation
is equally ironic, for Israel may
now have more leverage in the
peace talks than is actually to its
advantage. "Wouldn't it have
been convenient," suggested Shi-
bley Telharni of Cornell Univer-
sity, "if the United States had
pointed out to Israel the benefits
of evacuating the settlements in
the Gaza Strip, rather than have
the issue be treated as one of di-
rect concession to the Palestini-
ans."
Since encouraging players to
conceive of taking active roles in
regional security requires more
than just moral support, and
since only a strong Israel can be
expected to make the kinds of
concessions necessary for peace,
the subject of American aid nat-

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