Image and reality: The role of the US in the Middle East
December 29, 2001 9:32 AM   Subscribe

Image and reality: The role of the US in the Middle East The leading spokesperson for the Palestinian cause chastises Israel and the U.S. No attempt here to see that there may be some shortcomings due to excessses or intransigence on the Arab side. Another binary view of reality or a useful assessment?
posted by Postroad (5 comments total)
In a time long past, when I found it far easier to be pro-Israel, I had a lot of respect for this women who was educated, articulate, and seemingly reasonable.

I still will listen to her speak (she's been on ABC's Nightline many many times) but its just sad. Its easy to think that intelligence and education would be a good way to offset radicalization and that radicals are uneducated and or brainwashed.

Dr. Ashrawi, in my opinion, in being no longer able to see beyond her point of view, is proof that this is not the case. Its very sad, and for me re-humanizes the tragic conflict. Someday, I hope, both sides will be able to see how stupid this dispute has grown in the last half century.
posted by BentPenguin at 9:39 AM on December 29, 2001

Is anything really disputed in her comments? I don't think so; she just makes it sound like it's a big revelation.

Without delving into the historical roots of repeated American blunders in the region...

Whether as a result of gullibility, inherent (strategic) bias, or a determined avoidance...

Instead of hiring suspect spin-doctors and Hollywood image-makers...

posted by rschram at 10:22 AM on December 29, 2001

Ah, yes. Peter Jennings' old flame. Tom Shales' column, The good, the great and the not so good, describes the cozy interaction on 9/11. Scroll down to: "Jennings convened a little pro-Palestinian seminar on Thursday afternoon..."
posted by Carol Anne at 10:47 AM on December 29, 2001

Powell's Nov. 19 speech was rather less sympathetic to the Palestinian position than Ashrawi portrays it.

To begin with, Palestinians must accept that, if there is to be real peace, Israelis must be able to live their lives free from terror as well as war. The Palestinian leadership must make a 100 percent effort to end violence and to end terror. There must be real results, not just words and declarations. Terrorists must be stopped before they act. The Palestinian leadership must arrest, prosecute and punish the perpetrators of terrorist acts. The Palestinians must live up to the agreements they have made to do so. They must be held to account when they do not.

Whatever the sources of Palestinian frustration and anger under occupation, the Intifada is now mired in the quicksand of self-defeating violence and terror directed against Israel. Palestinians need to understand that however legitimate their claims, they cannot be heard, let alone be addressed, through violence. And as President Bush has made clear, no national aspiration, no remembered wrong can ever justify the deliberate murder of the innocent. Terror and violence must stop and stop now. (Applause.)

He then goes on to delineate the importance of Israeli participation in the peace process.

I think it's a measure of the current administration's wisdom, however cold-blooded it may seem, that Arafat is now seen as either an outright abettor of terrorism, or conversely, if his intentions are truly honorable, as incapable of controlling it. Thus he offers Israel nothing; either continued two-faced peace negotiations as a carrot balanced by terrorism as a stick, or peace agreements which are effectively meaningless. He can't play this game any longer. Though Ashrawi is probably sincere at some level, there's little evidence she really speaks for Palestinians; she's an agreeably moderate, Westernized face they can put on TV.

Here's the key, though: Unconditional negotiations....

What kind of bargain is that?
posted by dhartung at 11:12 AM on December 29, 2001

An intertesting and detailed historical description of the conflict and of the sincerity of the participants.
posted by semmi at 1:38 PM on December 29, 2001

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