Editorial Exchange: Mideast Peace Won't Come Easily (Hamilton Spectator)

The Canadian Press, May 9, 2017 | Go to article overview

Editorial Exchange: Mideast Peace Won't Come Easily (Hamilton Spectator)


Editorial Exchange: Mideast peace won't come easily

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An editorial from the Hamilton Spectator, published May 8:

Mideast peace won't come easily

Donald Trump won the presidency thanks to a series of cocky, what-me-worry promises to solve seemingly intractable problems using his supposedly superior art-of-the-deal negotiating skills.

Last week, he made another such promise. After meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at the White House, he vowed flippantly to bring the century-old conflict between Israelis and Palestinians to an end, adding that the problem is "something that, I think, is frankly maybe not as difficult as people have thought over the years."

The monumental arrogance and flat-out ignorance displayed by such an obtuse statement is truly stunning. Virtually all Americans, Israelis and Palestinians, as well as the citizens of every other country on the planet, favour a just, safe, sustainable, mutually beneficial resolution to this enduring conflict.

But no one anywhere believes it will be easy. Just like repealing and replacing Obamacare, which Trump initially said would be "so easy" but finally conceded: "Nobody knew health care could be so complicated."

By all means, Trump should try his hand at Middle East peacemaking. Perhaps his Chauncey Gardiner-type naivete -- and the fact that he is apparently unburdened by any historical or political knowledge of the subject -- will give him some bizarre advantages that are not available to more sophisticated students of the conflict.

But for the record, since no one else appears to have told him, here are some of the factors that make this particular conflict knottier and more troublesome than the president seems to realize. …

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