The Mideast: Hope Amid the Ashes

The Forward has a great editorial this week that makes the 1973 analogy. The humiliation to Israel of the 1973 Yom Kippur war led to the peace treaty with Egypt, and the humiliations to Israel of this latest war might prepare the ground for peace. Gideon Levy made the same point in Haaretz last week: Israel is a better loser than a winner.

(I felt the same way about Israel when I read a leading politician’s comments in the Jerusalem Post about why Israel turned down Syria’s offers to make peace over the last few years: “‘Why should we negotiate with the Syrians and give up territory when they are too weak to threaten us?’ was the understandable reasoning behind our refusal to answer Bashar [al-Assad]‘s repeated offers to sit down with us and negotiate peace.” Israelis like to say Arabs are sore losers. Well Israel is a sore winner.)

The Forward editorial ends by boldly taking on the Israel lobby, saying that the U.S. has got to apply pressure for a regional peace. “Bush has been convinced by self-appointed spokesmen for Israel and the Jewish community that endless war is in Israel’s interest,” the Forward says. Well-said. The U.S. needs to wake up.