- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 9, 2002

Excerpts of editorials from newspapers around the world:


The Jordan Times

Peace in the Middle East

AMMAN, Jordan The Israeli President, Moshe Katsav, has acknowledged that the Middle East is living through critical times, which require that the Palestinians and Israelis seek a real peace agreement. His assessment, though a belated recognition of the obvious, is correct.

Where the Israeli president went wrong, however, was when he turned to Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in his urging of a commitment against violence.

Katsav must address his call to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. He is the one escalating the violence. He is the one who threatened to "hit the Palestinians very hard," as if his occupation troops has not already wreaked enough havoc on them.

The Arabs and not just Arafat, seek real peace with Israel. This strategic commitment to a comprehensive and lasting peace was reiterated by the peace initiative of Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah.

This initiative will be presented to the Arab summit in Beirut by the end of the month. The summit could adopt the proposal as a peace offer by the Arab League.

It will be impossible for the Saudi crown prince to officially present his proposal if Arafat is not present. Unless Israel withdraws its tanks and allows the Palestinian leader to travel to Beirut for the summit, it will be impossible for the peace plan to be discussed, let alone adopted. …


Ha'aretz

Palestinian terror attacks

TEL AVIV Unbridled Palestinian terror attacks continued yesterday and the government appears to be helpless … At times like this the public looks to its leaders, seeking explanations as to why the price is so heavy, what are the goals of the war, and most especially, when it will all be over. It is enormously frustrating that the prime minister does not have a reasonable answer to any of these questions. …

Sharon proposes the public … not lose hope, and promises again that Israel will win. …

That is deception. It is not the existence of Israel that is at stake, but the existence of the settlements, which Sharon has fostered and nurtured for a generation. This war as army commanders, heads of the security forces, and every reasonable person knows has no military solution. …


Al-Ahram

Israel's war crimes

CAIRO At the time when the Palestinian Authority and major Arab countries support the Saudi peace initiative, Israeli occupation forces widen their acts of killing … and eliminate any hope to positively deal with the Saudi initiative.

The absolute U.N. silence to what is going on in the Palestinian territories seems [inexplicable] since these acts are considered by the U.N. Charter as crimes of an occupier against a nation that struggles to liberate its soil. …

The big powers that drafted the U.N. Charter, especially the U.S., have not rejected the occupying state's aggression, yet Washington uses the veto power against providing protection to the Palestinian people or even sending international observers. …


Corriere della Sera

Possible war in Iraq

MILAN, Italy President Bush has said that if Iraq denies access to United Nations arms inspectors, the result will be war. Yet with no operational plan in place the second stage of the international war against terrorism does not seem imminent.

Political obstacles remain, as exemplified by Syrian President Bashar Assad's recent remarks that unlike the Gulf war, this time all Arab governments would oppose an attack against Iraq.

The military situation is also problematic. The United States and its allies are bogged down on the Afghan front, which has become a guerilla-warfare zone. It is hard to imagine who would be an ally in a conflict on Iraqi territory that would aim at conquering Baghdad an operation considered too risky in the 1991 war. …

For now it seems that Washington over the next months will prepare militarily while intensifying diplomatic activities to isolate Saddam Hussein. But then? We should all know by the summer.


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