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Israel versus Palestinians



"Politics stops at the water's edge" is a totally wrong view of US foreign policy, which is determined almost entirely by domestic considerations. Those of us who were attuned to world opinion realized that the creation of the state of Israel would lead to the alienation of the whole Muslim world and widespread hatred of the Jews, who enjoyed almost universal sympathy after their sufferings under Nazism. Our predictions have materialized in spades (I used that colloquialism to encourage someone to explain its origin). Now the Bush administration is committing the same mistake, although Colin Powell seems sensitive to the issue.

World opinion is fairly represented by Sweden, whose position is expressed in a Reuters dispatch of which here are extracts; "Arafat is no terrorist, says Sweden. The US administration's hardening position towards Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat is very dangerous, Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh said. "I think this discussion about equating Arafat with terrorists is both inappropriate and stupid. It is a very dangerous policy," Lindh said on Swedish public service radio news. Commenting on plans aired by some in the US administration to close the Palestinian representation in Washington, for the US to cease mediation efforts and to classify Arafat's security forces as terrorists, Lindh said: "This is just insane. It contradicts the entire peace process...and can only lead to outright war in the Middle East." In contrast to its traditional position of strict neutrality, NATO non-member Sweden came out unequivocally in favor of the US after the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington. Lindh, who shot up in the rankings to become Sweden's most popular politician according to one recent poll, said Washington's stance only served to reward the violence used by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to quell the Palestinian uprising. "

Ronald Hilton - 1/29/02


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