For some reason - maybe its the end of the year and newspapers can't get anything better to publish on their op-ed pages - there are two pieces today about what the US must do regarding the "peace process". And given the writers, we once again get the old discredited ideas that brought us the Oslo War.
David Matz, the director of Graduate Program in Dispute Resolution at University of Massachusetts, brings up
the Geneva Accords, and alleges that "Geneva Accords have the support of substantial majorities of Israelis and Palestinians". Its not clear where he gets this data, but the fact is that he is simply wrong in this statement. The only Israelis and Palestinians who support the Geneva Accords are the ones who came up with it. He then goes on to suggest a coalition to "bring the pressure of world opinion to bear on the parties". Of course, what this really means is to pressure Israel to make concessions while the Palestinians continue to do nothing.
The other article
is by former Secretary of State Warren Christopher (none of this would be happening if Warren Christopher were alive). His brilliant, groundbreaking idea is more "active hands-on involvement of the United States", and "[t]he second, preferable, option would be the appointment by the president of a high-ranking United States emissary to the Middle East". OF course, the only thing that the past five high-level emissaries have produced are worthless plans and more casualties from suicide bombings.
What neither of these writers mentions, and what is the only hope for peace, is the wholesale remaking of Palestinian society into a pluralistic, democratic one from one based on a cult of death. Until this happens there is no chance for peace, with or without Arafat. To create a Palestinian state now, without achieving any democratization, would be a disaster for everyone. It would almost surely lead to a larger possibly regional war.