Can We Achieve Peace in
the Middle East?
January 22, 2007
America must play the leading role in crafting some settlement or compromise
between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
But Jefferson, Madison, and Washington explicitly warned against
involving ourselves in foreign conflicts.
The conflict in Gaza
and the West Bank is almost like a schoolyard fight: when America and the world
stand watching, neither side will give an inch for fear of appearing weak.
But deep down, the people who actually have to live there desperately
want an end to the violence. They
don’t need solutions imposed by outsiders.
It’s easy to sit here safe in America and talk tough, but we’re not
the ones suffering.
Practically speaking, our meddling in the Middle East has only intensified strife and conflict. American tax dollars have militarized the entire region. We give Israel about $3 billion each year, but we also give Egypt $2 billion. Most other Middle East countries get money too, some of which ends up in the hands of Palestinian terrorists. Both sides have far more military weapons as a result. Talk about adding fuel to the fire! Our foolish and unconstitutional foreign aid has produced more violence, not less.
Congress and each successive administration pledge their political, financial, and military support for Israel. Yet while we call ourselves a strong ally of the Israeli people, we send billions in foreign aid every year to some Muslim states that many Israelis regard as enemies. From the Israeli point of view, many of the same Islamic nations we fund with our tax dollars want to destroy the Jewish state. Many average Israelis and American Jews see America as hypocritically hedging its bets.
perfectly the inherent problem with foreign aid: once we give money to one
country, we have to give it to all the rest or risk making enemies. This is
especially true in the Middle East and other strife-torn regions, where our
financial support for one side is seen as an act of aggression by the other.
Just as our money never makes Israel secure, it doesn’t buy us any true
friends elsewhere in the region. On
the contrary, millions of Muslims hate the United States.
It is time to challenge the notion that it is our job to broker peace in the Middle East and every other troubled region across the globe. America can and should use every diplomatic means at our disposal to end the violence in the West Bank, but we should draw the line at any further entanglement. Third-party outsiders cannot impose political solutions in Palestine or anywhere else. Peace can be achieved only when self-determination operates freely in all nations. “Peace plans” imposed by outsiders or the UN cause resentment and seldom produce lasting peace.The simple truth is that we cannot resolve every human conflict across the globe, and there will always be violence somewhere on earth. The fatal conceit lies in believing America can impose geopolitical solutions wherever it chooses.