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Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Middle East peace

My frequent co-author, Nayef Samhat of Centre College, has penned a provocative op-ed for the Lexington Herald-Leader: "Mideast can't be reborn amid Israeli occupation," which was published on September 2. Nayef makes points that are not often mentioned in American discussions about Israel:
Israel's history of occupation in the region teaches us that if there is no resistance to the status quo, Israel will not leave. To the contrary, Israel has demonstrated that it would remain in place, extract scarce water resources, displace Arab residents and colonize expropriated Arab land with Jewish settlers...

Israel's first prime minister, David Ben Gurion, grasped the simple logic of resistance when he said, "If I were an Arab leader I would never make terms with Israel. That is natural: We have taken their country."

Israel's acquisition of the Golan Heights, the West Bank, Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula in the 1967 war remade the map of the Middle East.
I probably shouldn't spoil the conclusion, but Nayef wants to see conflicts with Hezbollah, Syria, Iran and the Palestinians resolved. To that end, he discusses the return of the Shebaa Farms to Lebanon and the end of occupation of the Golan Heights and various Palestinian territories.

Ongoing grievances about land prevent lasting peace in the Middle East.

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