Iraq for Land: Can Jordan, Egypt and other Sunni Arab States Get a Real State for the Palestinians, Peace for Israel, and Peace for Iraq all at Once? Will Bush even let them Try?
Bush admitted that he needs the help of the governments of Sunni Arab states neighboring or in the vicinity of Iraq in stabilizing that country. They have concluded that since Bush wants something from them, he should give them something they want. The governments of Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, etc. have been being destabilized by the continued expropriation of the Palestinians by rightwing Israeli governments. The publics of those countries see the injustices daily– the Israeli theft of Palestinian land, the unemployment, the malnutrition of Palestinian children under military occupation, the web of checkpoints that prevent people from getting to a hospital, the bloody reprisal attacks on civilians for the actions of a handful of terrorists. See John Berger on the situation.
And, they want to know why their supposedly Arab Muslim governments just lie down and let it happen. So now Mubarak and the Abdullahs want Bush to pressure Olmert to come back to the bargaining table in earnest and pick up where things were left off in 2000.
It isn’t a bad offer, and if they really could get a settlement in Palestine and help resolve the crisis in Iraq, we would all be much better off. By “all,” I mean the United States, the Israelis, and the Arabs. The Israelis are stuck in a dead end by their contradictory policies toward the Palestinians, and their occupation of another people is turning Israel increasingly toward ugly attitudes like those of Avigdor Lieberman, now legitimized by being in the Israeli cabinet. The Israelis are becoming increasingly isolated in the world and a little pressure for their own good to get them to go back to something close to 1967 borders and let the Palestinians alone would be all to the good.
The problem is that Bush at some point (around November or December of 2001, I think) sold his soul to the wealthiest and most rightwing elements of the Israel lobby in the US. He put Iran-Contra felon Elliot Abrams in control of Middle East policy in his National Security Council.
So, “Iraq for Land” is likely to go nowhere fast, despite the obvious consideration that it would do the United States a world of good and be the single most effective policy that could be adopted to reduce the threat of terrorism against this country.
I urge readers to take a moment and send a message to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee urging them to support Hosni Mubarak and Abdullah II’s “Iraq for Peace” initiative. Those two governments have a peace treaty with Israel and if Olmert had any sense he would listen to them.