The Middle East is ailing. The malady stems from pervasive violence, shortages of food, water and educational opportunities, discrimination against women and — the most virulent cause of all — the absence of freedom.
There can be no peace without freedom. Economic growth is impossible without integration in the free global economy. Tragically, this simple logic eludes us in the Middle East.
The young generation, which makes up most of the region's population, insists on equal rights, access to education and the jobs created by science and technology. These, not armies or land, are the new sources of national strength. And none is attainable without freedom.… Seguir leyendo »
The Middle East has to make a historic choice: to join the new global age of democratic peace and liberal economy, or to stay clinging to its history of closed societies and autocracy.
A great revolt has been initiated by young people and women, to gain freedom, bread and hope. Israel is watching with great expectation. These events are both unprecedented and unplanned.
The internet, Facebook and Twitter have created mass communications and social spaces that regimes cannot control. These developments allowed young people to compare notes with their contemporaries in other countries, and to see clearly how their own governments wasted wealth and time to enhance their own power while ignoring the needs of their people.… Seguir leyendo »
In Israel, the office of the president is meant to be ceremonial. But at 86, President Shimon Peres, the last founder of the Jewish state to remain active in Israeli politics and a frequent counselor to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, hardly stays on the sidelines. Although Israelis are feeling pressured by a recent U.N. report, led by South African jurist Richard Goldstone, accusing the army of war crimes during the recent operation against Hamas -- as well as by Iran's nuclear ambitions and by the perception that the Obama administration is hostile to them -- Peres reached out last week, holding a conference in Jerusalem with international leaders in which he called on Netanyahu to move the peace process forward.… Seguir leyendo »
There is no shortage of opinions when it comes to Middle East affairs, and the recent events in Gaza have not muted them. A minority of Middle East pundits have recently emerged as advocates for a one-state solution, which would undermine Israel's legitimacy and internationally recognized right to exist as a sovereign Jewish state in the land of my forefathers. Having personally witnessed the remarkable progress we have made with the Palestinian Authority in recent years, I believe that a two-state solution is not only the best resolution to this age-old conflict but one within our reach.
The one-state solution has enough intrinsic flaws to render it no solution at all.… Seguir leyendo »
Q. Is there a realistic chance of peace with the Palestinians?
A. I think we have to follow a two-track approach: one political, the other economic. I think the economic locomotive has achieved much more than the military since the Second World War. And I think that we have unbelievable economic proposals as to how to make accommodations between us and our neighbors. In the political negotiations, the gaps are not very great, but they are highly emotional. It will be extremely difficult to put them on paper because each party looks to its own audience and will be very careful not to appear as losers.… Seguir leyendo »