2009-05-29 / Columnists

The Progressive

Peace or Real Estate
Commentary John Paul Culotta

Our president correctly feels a settlement between Israel and the Palestinians is critical for world stability. This nation has for too long been negligent in its commitment to resolving the sixty-year-old conflict in the near east.

In order to achieve a permanent settlement between the two peoples that hold this precious real estate holy and significant to their identities, the agreement must be beneficial to both parties and mutually agreed to; and not mandated by our government, the European Community, the Arab League or Russia.

Both parties have legitimate historical grievances and perspectives.

When the Pope made his recent trip of reconciliation and hope to the land sacred to Moslems, Christians, and Jews, the quagmire of remembered deceit, hatred, and persecution was evident. Too often remembrance is used as a political tool that can stymie a just and equitable reconciliation. This nation can act as a catalyst and as a middleman in the negotiation processes but cannot resolve the fear of both parties with the land grabs the Israeli government feels are justified. Only genuine pressure by our government and not lip service will stop illegal settlements by Israel. Peace cannot be achieved without some sign by Israel to adhere to international standards regarding these settlements.

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