Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Keeping Peace Alive

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Keeping Peace Alive

Article excerpt

The Middle East peace process appears headed toward a period of suspended animation. There's the pending election in Israel, following the collapse, Dec. 21, of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition government. But there are also other factors making the next few months problematic for peacemaking.

It was clear after Mr. Netanyahu signed the Wye Plantation agreement in October that his government might crumble. His hard-line supporters were appalled he had agreed to turn more West Bank territory over to the Palestinians.

That deal was one of Netanyahu's rare alignments with the land- for-peace process begun five years ago. It came way too late, however, to do him much good politically. His last-minute plea for a government of national unity with the Labor Party was scoffed at in the Knesset. With elections scheduled for May 17, and with the Wye agreement put on hold by Netanyahu until then, the world will now be treated to a particularly wide-open bout of Israeli politics. …

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