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More Carrots?

Reader comment on item: Signal to Syria: Straighten Up

Submitted by Ilona Melstrads (United States), May 13, 2003 at 19:15

The article usefully pointed out large discrepancies; but it might have mentioned how important US companies are for Syria. Even if important, with the proposed legislation, maybe companies from other countries would be happy to take US's place. How about more of a carrot-like approach?

1. According to Dore Gold, the "U.S. roadmap for Middle East peace … requires in the first phase that all Arab states discontinue support for Palestinian groups backing terrorism."(1) If so, then presumably by its non-action, Syria is putting itself in the position of preventing the "roadmap." This might be publicized world-wide. Countries that comply should be especially thanked.

2. But assuming that some or all Arab states decide by miracle to stop terrorism, there is another problem. Since the affected Arab populations may partly appreciate some of the groups because they also provide charitable social welfare, the US might help organize and fund secular or more traditional Islamic charities, particularly in Lebanon, maybe also in Jordan and Syria. It would not do to keep the old organizations in place, in the hope they would only undertake charitable work. Particularly useful would be creating trade schools for youth.

3. US should give lots more economic aid to Israel, including aid for Israeli companies that might import goods from Lebanon, Jordan and Syria - provided the countries encourage immigration into their countries of West Bank Arabs, and, where needed, as in Lebanon, treat Arabs from the "occupied territories" as real citizens.

(1) Is Iran included or only Arab states?

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