Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

AIPAC Worries about a "Bad Peace"

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

AIPAC Worries about a "Bad Peace"

Article excerpt

More than 2,000 delegates assembled in Washington, DC last month for the 32nd Annual Policy Conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), this country's principal pro-Israel lobby. More than 800 students from 177 college campuses attended -- compared to about 400 students last year. AIPAC officials attributed the record-breaking attendance to the surge in American Jewish support for Israel after Saddam Hussain began launching Scud missile attacks against it.

AIPAC Executive Director Tom Dine began his address to the conference by lauding George Bush for his "masterful" leadership during the Gulf war. But the focus of Dine's speech was not the war but the peace process. He stated his disagreement with Benjamin Franklin, who said over 200 years ago: "There never was a good war or a bad peace." According to Dine, "One of our nation's early great leaders did not envision the modern Mideast. The war against Iraq was just, it was necessary, and it was good in the sense that it vanquished evil."

Dine warned that the "good war" could be followed by a "bad peace," and outlined what a "bad peace" might look like. The "peace promoters" would pay "exaggerated" attention to the Palestinian issue; equate "democratic Israel" with Arab "despots" who live by the "Hama rules"; fail to appreciate that "territorial depth" is essential to Israel's security; be too "impatient" for a settlement; and try to impose a solution on Israel by, for instance, demanding a Palestinian state while the peace process is still underway. …

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