- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 6, 2002

Excerpts of editorials from newspapers around the world:

Jordan Times

Arab strategy in the Mideast

AMMAN, Jordan Despite his attempts to project a different image, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is on the last legs of his political career. The barbarous war he has launched on the Palestinians is a desperate act of a shortsighted politician who has failed on every front. Sharon is going down, and trying to take the whole region down with him.

He must be stopped.

For over a year, Sharon has been systematically working to increase the level of tension in the region. In addition to destroying the Palestinian National Authority, the Israeli prime minister has sought to push the Arab world into adopting hard-line policies which he would use to justify his abandonment of the peace process. But the Arabs did not fall in his trap and instead responded with a historic peace offer.

In these trying times, emotions can easily defeat rational strategies. Sharon wants war. He should not get it.


Barricades in the brain

ZURICH Palestinian leader [Yasser] Arafat is a prisoner in his own bunker. Ramallah is occupied, and Israeli tanks move in front of the church at Jesus' birthplace. Just like 20 years ago, Israel is at war, and once again Ariel Sharon is the field commander.

One can understand the Israelis. What would we do if one day a fanatic blew up a railway station, a bus or a restaurant? Well, what we wouldn't do is occupy Lombardy and Alsace, set up encampments and then prefabricated homes, build security roads, confiscate the best land and cut off the locals' water supply.

Certainly the Middle East is not comparable to the rest of the world, but there is a basic requirement for all people: Everybody wants to live in freedom and security without terror but also without occupation.

Arafat and the Palestinians believe, wrongly, that only through terror can they shake off the occupation. And Sharon who has never proposed an acceptable peace plan sees no way forward other than war. The conflict is now threatening to spread to neighboring countries.

The United States absolutely must intervene diplomatically now. The barricades that Jews and Arabs have been building for a hundred years in their heads will not be knocked down in a few weeks by third-class negotiators. For that you need years of stubborn negotiating and you need to be prepared to listen to the problems of both sides. Bush is not ready to make the commitment.

O Globo

Middle East Madness

RIO DE JANEIRO Madness in the Middle East has reached such a point that peace between Palestinians and Israelis seems unviable. Saudi Arabia's peace proposal has been smashed by recent events. An explanation for the worsening atmosphere of hatred is the stubbornness displayed by all involved parties.

It is easy to identify the points of intransigence. Sharon's strategy is transparent: to pressure militarily the Palestinian National Authority seeking to stop human-bomb attacks or bringing Arafat back to the negotiation table on bended knees. It is easy to explain and to see it doesn't work.

President Bush's strategy is also simple. Without dirtying hands, not even rolling up sleeves, he insists on Arafat to stop suicide attacks. It is as if one of the main actors of the tragedy would have tied his own hands as a pretext not to act. That strategy is also mistaken. American non-intervention is perceived as a green light in favor of Israel.

The Guardian

Death of a queen and an era

LONDON Next week's Westminster Abbey funeral will be a farewell to a woman who held a very special place in the heart of the nation. But it will tell us who we were, not who we are. It will be the formal laying to rest of an era that in other respects finished long ago and cannot be re-created. When the pomp is done, therefore, and the captains and the kings depart, this country will need to consider how much longer the monarchy can properly continue to hold the place in our national life that the Queen Mother did so much, so remarkably, to sustain in defiance of the times. It is time to look to the future and to a different Britain.

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