Saturday, December 06, 2003

In today’s International Herald Tribune we find two interesting op-ed articles. In a very courageous and honestly introspective article the Lebanese journalist Michael Young writes about the way in which the Arab peoples’ real or imagined preoccupation with the plight of their Palestinian brothers and sisters has become both an excuse for many wrongs in the Arab world and a stumble block for its truly socio-economic and political development: “…the prism of 1948 […] has distorted so many things in the Middle East that it is with little imagination that Arab states and societies tend to address fundamental issues like democracy, sovereignty, overmilitarization, relations with the United States and, even, the optimal pursuit of national interests.” Gideon Samet of Ha’Aretz writes about the Israeli public’s growing perception of the consequences of Ariel Sharon’s “inaction” and “political footdragging”: “ Sharon seems to be running out of arguments against a rigorous attempt to forge a peace agreement, as a growing number of Israelis add up the reasons why this ought to happen without further delay.”

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