Thursday, February 09, 2006

Recognize Israel!

It is of course a most reasonable demand that all states in the Middle East should recognize each other, including Israel.

As a matter of fact, this is a foundation for any sort of peace. All UN resolutions concerning the conflict has this is one of their starting points.

So is that the nations in question don't occupy each other. It wasn't accepted when Saddam Hussein occupied Kuwait, and it should not be accepted that Israel occupies the West Bank.

But change in these directions could well take some time. The lifting of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank must go hand in hand with the building of a true Palestine state.

Now the United States is saying that no aid will be given to the Palestine Authority if Hamas does not recognize Israel.

It will be interesting to see if the same demand will be put on the new government that will be formed in Iraq. Here, a pact between key parties explicitly rules out the recognition of Israel.

Will that mean that all US assistance will be immediately withdrawn? That would almost certainly mean handing Iraq over the civil war and to the establishment of at the least significant Al Qaeda enclaves in the country.

A complete cessation of international - or Western - aid to the Palestinian authorities could well lead to a social and economic collapse the area with serious political and security consequences.

Or it could lead to Iran & Co stepping in, paying the bills and taking over.

The Middle East is not always a good place for easy options.

Haaretz - Israel News