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Flexibility does not mean weakness

Reader comment on item: [The Road Map:] Learning from Oslo

Submitted by Aaron Marsh (United States), Jun 11, 2003 at 13:06


The trouble with insisting on zero attacks on Israeli citizens before a peace process is carried out is that this allows any individual to derail what could prove to be a blessing for all concerned. The Israeli government must proceed under the assumption that the Palestinian Authority does not have complete control over every gun-toting, dynamite wearing individual Palestinian terrorist. There will be martyrs on both sides for the process, but the process itself must not be derailed.

Arafat has always played a public-relations game that at times has overridden his commitment to peace. The same can be said, however, of Ariel Sharon and his conduct in Lebanon. If we allow the past to dictate the future we guarantee that there will be no true change. This will jeopardize all involved. Sharon has become more flexible because he believes in the peace process. He must be allowed to establish his new position without being haunted by his past. The same must, however, apply to Arafat.

Forgiveness, not fear, must dictate the course of history in the Levant. This does not mean giving up; it means finally winning for all sides concerned. This cannot be a winner-take-all process. If Israel wants to reproduce the incredible patriotism and enthusiasm of its populace after the events of 1967, it must transcend the influence of errant individuals and set an example to the world. Rooted in the first peoples to acknowledge a god of law, Israelis must shine.

Sincerely,

A. Marsh
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