Often the opinions of former government officials are publicized, scrutinized, and valued because of their inside knowledge and experience. And just as often, I put very little stock in their thoughts, because you never know their motive. Speaking out on an issue or situation they are no longer directly involved in could be netting them money, could be politically motivated, or could simply involve grinding an old axe. And, the aforementioned three former US officials – despite their solid reputations and impressive credentials – are no different. Therefore, I did some personal research on the issue of the peace summit and after speaking to some connected folks, came up with just about the same alarming analysis: the upcoming Middle East peace summit will fail to do much good.
I understand that most Americans aren’t very tuned in to the fight between Israel and Palestine. Most people see the War in Iraq and the ongoing battles in Afghanistan as much more important – and the fact is that our media either creates and/or supports that belief. But we must realize that the Middle East is like a kindergarten playground; every action creates an equal and opposite reaction. Thus, any activity in the Israel/Palestine conflict influences the situations in Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Afghanistan, and so forth.
Although the fight for the holy land is no longer the sexy war, it is as critical a foreign situation as any in the last 25 years. The United States must play a central role in brokering peace in that territory – if nothing more than to gain back some of the good will we’ve lost in the last five years. That said, we cannot continue handing over a blank check without bringing all the influential parties to the table and working with each of them on an ongoing basis to resolve the situation. The upcoming peace summit is a good start, but if nothing else occurs, it is too little, too late.