It is increasingly de rigueur around the world and, for that matter, in certain segments of the Democratic Party, to place responsibility for all international crises on the U.S. government. Unsurprisingly, therefore, when it comes to the Arab-Israeli conflict, it has attained the level of high fashion to ascribe the persistent absence of peace to a lack of adequate U.S. "engagement" in resolving it.If the Bush administration were truly "engaged," the argument goes, the chances for Middle East peace would be greatly improved. Next week's meeting in Annapolis, Md., between Israel and at least certain of its Arab interlocutors has the look and feel of more of the same. Yesterday the State Department sent out "formal invitations" to the event, but it remains unclear who will attend besides Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. If history is any guide, the meeting will yield unsatisfactory results, Israel will be blamed for failing to make the requisite concessions, and the Bush administration will be widely and sharply criticized for its "failure to engage."
This analysis, simple and neat, and for so many so satisfying, would seem at odds with the historical record. The problem is that all too often, those who blame the U.S. for failing to deliver Mideast peace are some of the world's most culpable enablers of Mideast violence--and those who are themselves actually responsible for erecting the fundamental roadblocks to a resolution of the conflict.This is so obvious as to almost go without saying--except that the penchant for placing the blame on the U.S. is so widespread and so addictive that it goes largely unsaid. It was, of course, the Arab bloc, including the Palestinian leadership, that decided to reject the U.N.'s 1947 partition of Palestine into two states, Arab and Jewish, living side by side. Instead it invaded the nascent Jewish state rather than coexist with it, spawning the conflict that has so burdened the world for the last 60 years.This was not a decision made by the U.S.We are also not responsible for the Arab world's choice not to create a Palestinian Arab state in East Jerusalem, Gaza and the West Bank from 1948 to 1967, when it easily could have done so--before there were any Jewish settlements there to serve as the public object of Arab grievance.
Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors. Originally posted at http://zionism-israel.com/israel_news/2007/11/is-us-to-blame-for-human-rights.html. Please do link to these articles, quote from them and forward them by email to friends with this notice. Other uses require written permission of the author.