The Palestinians continue to embarrass American foreign policy.
Though they have had elected leadership for over a generation,
American policy depreciated its significance because Arafat
was a charismatic and a man of war.
the Palestinians have managed a democratic and peaceful transfer
of power while morning the loss of a beloved and wartime president
-- and under foreign occupation in the bargain. Were this achieved
in Iraq it would be seen as total vindication of American foreign
policy and a sign that ‘civilization’ had been brought
to the Middle East. In Tel Aviv, of course, the election is
of minor interest. Before Israel is willing to end two generations
of illegal occupation the Palestinians must bring the level
of violence down to zero.
in Iraq a zero level of violence is not in anybody’s metric
for success. But here the Palestinian election is a gloomy reminder
that the second nail has been driven into the coffin of the
American adventure. Not only was there no need to eliminate
weapons of mass destruction, there was no need to provide the
middle east with a local example of political freedom.
Katz • Prof. of law SUNY, Buffalo, 1969-1989 (ret.)