Monday, November 27, 2006

The Salience of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

I have been impressed how many times in my reading I have come across example after example of Middle Eastern governments placing primary emphasis upon resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict even in the context of other obviously important problems which might have taken precedence. I am collecting these examples for my book. Here is the latest one. In a New York Times article on the Middle East a portion was devoted to Cheney's visit to Saudi Arabia. The Saudis have a lot of worries at this time including the increasing influence of Iran, their fears of masses of Iraqi refugees flooding into their country, their worries that growing Shia power and confidence might inflame their Shia minority, etc. The Times reported:
During an interview on the ABC News program “This Week” on Sunday, [Saudi] King Abdullah said that his agenda with the president extended beyond Iraq, and that his top concern in the region was the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians — which he called the “core issue” in the Middle East — along with tensions in Lebanon.
I believe that the the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is certainly a core issue for the U.S. in that a satisfactory solution would likely do much to lessen the terrorist threat against the U.S., purportedly Bush's main goal. Yet the administration has carried out a policy that Bill Gallagher appropriately called "malign neglect".

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

For me, the most striking thing about the statements by King Abdullah reported in your post is that he has what many western scholars are calling a civil war going on right next door, and "his top concern in the region was the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians."

Maybe we should rethink what's going on in Iraq. Again.