There’s an op-ed in the local Newhouse rag, the Kalamazoo Gazette, today featuring advice for Israel on how to deal with the Palestinians. The op-ed is written by Paul Clements, chair of the Kalamazoo Interfaith Coalition for Peace and Justice, and concludes with this bizarre paragraph (emphasis added),
The only way to reach peace in the Middle East is through a viable Palestinian state. Israel needs and deservs U.S. protection, but the best way we can protect them is encourage them to be kind — and just — not tough. A secure and viable Palestinian state would also undermine resentment of the U.S. in Iraq, helping to create a climate hospitable to the establishment of democracy there. The United States should push for a Palestinian state along the 1967 borders, and the next time Palestinian suicide bombers try to derail peace negotiations, the Israelis should ignore them.
Yeah, because that approach has always worked well against terrorists. Just ignore them rather than retaliate and the terrorists will go on to pick on someone else (this is why Al Qaeda never targeted America again after we ignored them following 1993 World Trade Center bombing).
As for “helping to create a climate hospitable to the establishment of democracy [in Iraq],” I think the overthrow and capture of Saddam Hussein and his cronies offers the best chance in decades of such an eventuality.
In Israel, kind is better, smarter than tough. Paul Clements, Kalamazoo Gazette, January 20, 2004.