Monday, June 20, 2005

(Positive) destruction in Gaza

Well, it's a start. According to the Times (see here), "Israel and the Palestinians have agreed to cooperate on the demolition of the 1,600 Gaza houses to be vacated by Israeli settlers in less than two months... The agreement represented the first concrete Israeli-Palestinian cooperation in Gaza after many months of disputes."

I've wrestled with my own positions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for many years -- I think it's important to support Israel, for a number of reasons, but I also think that the only viable solution with respect to long-term peace is the withdrawal of Israel from disputed lands and the creation of a sovereign Palestinian state. Call me a moderate, but the whole region could use some moderation if there is ever to be anything approaching peace. (And let's not forget that the violence continues.)

Anyway, this will be an interesting story to follow through the summer (and beyond, of course). For now, there is hope that Sharon and Abbas are moving in the right direction. And, yes, it's time to give Condoleezza Rice some credit. After years of avoidance and irresponsible neglect, the Bush Administration is finally dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a serious and productive manner, and Rice is clearly the way. Better late than never, I suppose, but there's still much to be done, and American involvement will continue to be crucial going forward.

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