Feature

Why waste time on the Mideast?

By continuing to say soothing things to Arab and Israeli decision-makers, we&rsquo;ve shielded them from responsibility for their intransigence, said Thomas Friedman in <em>The New York Times.</em>

Thomas Friedman
The New York Times

It’s time for the Obama administration to take a “radically new approach” to the Mideast peace process, said Thomas Friedman. We should just give up and go home.

The Israelis and the Palestinians (and the Arab nations that support them) have made it abundantly clear they’re wedded to hardened positions on Israeli settlements and Israel’s right to exist, and have priorities other than creating a Palestinian state. The U.S. wants peace far more than they do, and by continuing to say soothing things to Arab and Israeli decision-makers, we’ve shielded them from responsibility for their intransigence.

Let them stand in front of their own people and say: “Forget peace. It requires compromise and courage, so we’d prefer to remain in a permanent state of war.’’ Begging the Israelis and Palestinians to act like responsible leaders is clearly a waste of time, and it’s “damaging the Obama team’s credibility.” Instead, let’s stop playing games and leave them with a message: “When you’re serious, give us a call. We have our own country to fix.”

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