Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Pause for Peace

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Pause for Peace

Article excerpt

Breaking the latest cycle of violence between Israel and the Palestinians has become more critical than ever for President Bush.

Just last week he launched a well-crafted peace plan - one linked to his campaign against terrorism. He can't allow this week's tit- for-tat bomb attacks between the two sides to set back his commitment to create a Palestinian state within two years. Otherwise, his plan to reshape the Middle East will be in jeopardy.

One saving tactic Mr. Bush is now using is to somehow persuade Israel to hold off on military retaliations against known organizers of the bombings against Israelis. He hopes such a pause in eye-for- an-eye violence would give the new prime minister of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, time to control anti-Israel groups like Hamas.

Israel, so far, isn't persuaded. For almost three years, its military has penetrated deep into Palestinian society, striking where necessary, on the hope that broken homes and offices, assassinations of militants, and economic strangulation would force the bombings to cease. …

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