WASHINGTON — President Bush, dispatching Vice President Dick Cheney to the Middle East, said the goal is to get Israelis and Palestinians to hold firm to the promises they've made toward peace. FULL STORY
If this gives you a sense of deja vu, you're not alone. It seems to me that every time I look at the news, a politician or dignitary is visiting the Middle East in the latest attempt to broker peace between the Israelis and Palestinians. Am I crazy, or didn't Condi Rice just return from there not too long ago? Now, apparently, it's Dick Cheney's turn. I guess it's time to try something closer to a strong-arm tactic. Who knows.
I admire President Bush and I understand what he's trying to do. I've heard the skeptics scoff and say that he's desperately searching for a legacy. I disagree. Bush has always wanted to see peace in Israel and ever since his campaign in 2000 he has advocated for an independent Palestinian state. This is nothing new and it has nothing to do with a legacy. I feel his intentions are true and I respect and admire him for it. That's not to say that I agree with it. While pushing for peace in Israel and surrounding areas is admirable, I feel (like many leftist dreams) it is idealistic and far beyond America's responsibility. Basically, it's none of our business and we're better served by staying out of it. If peace happens, it's going to have to happen between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Our interference won't help the process.
Ever since Israel became a nation, American leaders have worked hard to bring peace to the area, more so since the Carter years, and so far our efforts have been futile. There is no reason to think that Bush's efforts would be different. While I would love to see peace come to that area, I simply don't think it's going to happen in our lifetime. Further proof of this was apparent the day after a gunman entered a Jewish religious institution and opened fire on several unarmed ministry students. The killings were random, the victims innocent civilians. The next day, the streets were full of Palestinians celebrating this horrendous act. That tells me that at least ONE of the involved parties is not interested in peace but would rather see their neighbors eliminated. Until that changes, until we see some evidence that the Palestinians are willing to coexist with Israel as a neighbor, then I don't think we have any business trying to negotiate peace between the two. Israel is busy fighting random acts of violence against its citizens, who are we to ask them to negotiate with those carrying out those acts?
Our areas of intervention should be limited to places that pose a risk of harm to us directly. The Palestinians pose no such risk. They want the extermination of the Israelis. Perhaps one day they will focus on us, but it isn't now. Therefore, we need to stay out of it. Let Israel take care of its own business while we deal with the Husseins, Bin Ladens and Ahmadinejads of the world. We can still be allies and strongly support Israel while taking as less active role in that nation's affairs.