Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Uri Avneri in todays Ma'ariv gives his view of the conflageration in the Middle East:

Ohlmert promised that when this is over, there would be a new and different state of affaires in the region. Do you agree?

Absolutely, it will be new and much worse.

One of Nassralah’s objectives is to unite Shiites and Sunnis in the struggle against Israel. It’s important to remember that for centuries there has been profound enmity between Shiites and Sunnis. Many devout sunny consider the Shiites to be contemptible infidels. In coming to the Palestinians’ aid, Nassaralah is seeking to forge a new alliance between the two.

There may evolve in the region a new axis, which will include Hizzbulla, Palestinians, Syria, Iraq and Iran. Syria is a predominantly Sunni country. The Shiites are now controlling Iraq and they fully support Hizzbullas. The Iraqi Sunnis, who are fighting against the Americans, too, support Hizzbulla.

This block gains huge support in the Arab street, because of its standing up to America and Israel. The stature of the counter block, comprised of Saudi Arabia Egypt’s and Jordan, erodes daily. Their regimes are perceived to be America’s mercenaries and Israel’s agents. Abu Maazen is making a great deal of effort not to be included in this category.

So what can be done about it?

Put an end to the Israeli- Palestinian conflict, which agitates the entire region, take out Hamas from its hostile front by conducting negotiations with the newly elected Palestinian government. Come to an arrangement with Lebanon that will be sustainable over a long period of time. Such an arrangement must include Hizzbulla and Syria, which will necessitate the return of the Golan Heights.

And we should remember that Ehud Barak had almost achieved that, that h almost signed with Syria a peace treaty similar to the treaty Begin signed with Saddat. But he reneged at the last moment because he was afraid of the public opinion.

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