|VIEW FROM THE FIELD: CHARLES KRAUSE ON THE MIDEAST PEACE PROCESS|
November 18, 1997
in this forum:
Is Israel on the verge of a "nervous breakdown?" Will the Israeli government ever address the economic problems of the Palestinians? Are the leaders the barriers to peace, or is it the general will of the Israeli and Palestinian people? Did you experience distrust of the American press in the region?
November 7, 1997:
Charles Krause investigates the political pressure facing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
November 5, 1997:
Charles Krause explores the political pressure facing Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.
November 3, 1997:
Israel's Prime Minister on the latest round of Mideast peace talks.
Browse the NewsHour's coverage of the Middle-East.
Tze Kwang Teo of Singapore asks: If the peace process breaks down irreversibly, how will it harm America's interests in the Middle East?
Charles Krause responds:Egypt, Morrocco and a number of other Arab states, including those most closely allied with the United States in the Middle East, recently boycotted an economic cooperation summit in Qatar sponsored by the United States as part of the Oslo peace process. The U.S. is also having trouble recreating the Gulf War coalition that forced Iraq from Kuwait. So, it has become apparent just this week how the collapse of the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians is affecting U.S. interests elsewhere in the MIddle East.
If the peace process breaks down "irreversibly," Hamas and other terrorist groups would benefit. Since these groups link the U.S. to Israel, U.S. property and citizens in the MIddle East and elsewhere in the world would almost certainlybe in greater danger of being attacked than is presently the case. Also, since Hamas is a fundamentalist group, any development which strengthens its political support also strengthens the growing fundamentalist movement within the Muslim world. I believe most policy makers in Washington would acknowledge that it is not in the interests of the United States that fundamentalist governments replace more moderate governments in the Middle East.
In short, the United States government sees the peace process as being in its interest. However, domestic political considerations, as well as years of cooperation between Israeli and U.S. defense and intelligence agencies, do affect what the United States is willing and able to do to keep the peace process going.