Allies Tell Us: Peace Comes First
Allies Tell Us: Peace Comes First

Allies Tell Us: Peace Comes First

THE INTERNATIONAL CRISIS GROUP, OF WHICH I AM A MEMBER, HAD AN OPPORTUNITY TO MEET WITH TOP OFFICIALS AT BOTH NATO AND THE EUROPEAN UNION ON A RECENT TRIP TO EUROPE. THEIR MESSAGE WAS CLEAR: AMERICA'S ROLE IS CRUCIAL TO THE PEACE PROCESS NO MATTER WHERE, AND WITHOUT US LOGISTICAL AND MORAL SUPPORT IN PLACES LIKE THE BALKANS AND THE MIDDLE EAST, THAT PROCESS WILL FAIL.

By taking a back seat, we invite terrorists to fill the vacuum. Children in Palestine and elsewhere are taught to hate America. They grow up thinking it is in their best interests to act out that hate through violence and destruction of human life and property.

The Clinton administration came within inches of settling all but a handful of issues dividing Israel and the Palestinian Authority. By helping to bring that process to a successful conclusion, we might have had a chance to avoid last week's carnage.

As the world's wealthiest nation we need to be more sensitive to the needs of other countries that suffer from major nutrition, health, and a host of social and economic problems. Certainly it's not all our fault. But we must be even more generous and willing to do our part to eradicate poverty, slavery, and numerous other evils that threaten world peace. We would pay a steep price for benign neglect.

America has been the leader of the free world since World War II. History is replete with examples of nations that achieved leadership that subsequently eroded because of public neglect and too much attention to the accumulation of wealth.

One can only hope that the Bush administration will see the wisdom of vigorously reentering the peace process in the Middle East and of supplying dynamic leadership in bringing financial and other aid to less fortunate countries. An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth may be a temporary solution, but one that embraces true internationalism and respect for all cultures in the long run will far better serve the United States - and the world.

President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen is welcomed by Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh in Ramallah, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank June 14, 2022. Mohamad Torokman / REUTERS

Realigning European Policy toward Palestine with Ground Realities

Events in 2021 – particularly the Gaza war – put in sharp relief how much Europe’s policy toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict needs a refresh. The European Union and its member states should use the levers they have to push for their stated goal of a peaceful resolution. 

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