G8 Backs Middle-East International Observers
July 19, 2001 7:55 AM   Subscribe

G8 Backs Middle-East International Observers With the US onboard for the first time, it seems an international monitoring force will be sent to the Palestinian territories to observe the "ceasefire." Positive step towards calm or just another feeble diplomatic attempt from the international community to stem the tide?
posted by chaz (8 comments total)
feeble diplomatic attempt or not, it's better than nothing.

It's depressing that it has taken so long from the start of this resurgence to just get people on the ground.
posted by shakabu at 8:12 AM on July 19, 2001

Can someone give me an explanation of why Sharon is against third party observers (from the Israeli point of view)? I'll admit that all my reading on the issue has left me quite sympathetic to the Palestinians [which may be due to the fact that my family and I had to leave Beiruit, Lebanon due to bombings that I felt, at my then young age, were caused by Israeli aggression].

I'd like clarification on the Israeli point of view because I currently do feel quite biased against everything Sharon does and says.
posted by buddha9090 at 9:33 AM on July 19, 2001

I guess they are saying they don't want to 'internationalize' the conflict. Doesn't really make sense since you essentially have 2 nations fighting here, just that one is a real nation and the other is a collection of cantons. I guess the Israelis would prefer that this is seen as an 'internal' conflict, and bringing in observers stresses that it is not an internal conflict, or at least one that they can handle.
posted by chaz at 3:20 PM on July 19, 2001

Remove Arafat and there will be peace within three years.
posted by ParisParamus at 3:58 PM on July 19, 2001

Remove Arafat and there will be peace within three years.
posted by ParisParamus at 4:02 PM on July 19, 2001

Paris, perhaps if they remove him twice, there will be peace in 18 months ;)
posted by chaz at 4:25 PM on July 19, 2001

Putting it in terms as sympathetic as I can make them to Sharon:

He believes that international observers would make it impossible for Israeli forces to defend the settlers, while doing absolutely nothing to prevent Palestinian harassment and terrorism. Observers would limit or at least expose the movements of Israel's professional army and equipment, but be unable to see or publicize the guerrilla tactics of Palestinian fighters and particularly the suicide bombers within Israel.

Paris: I wish I could believe you. I'm hopeful that there are factions within the Palestinians who do truly desire peace, but I'm not certain that they would have any more success than Arafat at containing those for whom terrorism is a way of life (and death). I'm worried, therefore, that with Arafat, Israel would face no decline in terrorism, and at the same time have nobody to negotiate with.
posted by dhartung at 9:39 PM on July 19, 2001

Thanks Dan.
It saddens me greatly when I hear of any violence in the region (regardless of side), especially as it seems that the more extreme factions of both populations seem to dictate the tone of the relationship. I would love to see Arafat taken out of power and replaced with someone whom the Palestinian people would truly believe in (perhaps someone with the mind of Edward Said). Wishful thinking at best at this point it would seem...
posted by buddha9090 at 11:07 PM on July 19, 2001

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