Monitor: Comment on the Middle East peace summit in Maryland

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The Independent Culture
TERRORISM, AS President Bill Clinton said, is not justified under any circumstances. In an era of negotiations, terror is criminal, barbaric and unjustifiable. Arafat has yet to make a moral break with terrorism. Until now, he has tried to have it both ways: reap the territorial benefits of the peace process, without taking the threat of terrorism off the negotiating table. His ambivalence towards terrorism is the most serious threat to the peace process; ending that ambivalence - by confronting both the infrastructure and moral underpinnings of terrorism - is peace's best hope.

The Jerusalem Post

THE MARYLAND summit will not succeed unless the Palestinians demonstrate that they are fully committed to preventing terror attacks and cooperating with Israel to bring suspects to justice. Otherwise, the Oslo agreements are likely to expire unfulfilled next May, with potentially devastating consequences for the peace effort. Failure in Maryland could also weaken Washington's ability to play a constructive role in Mideast diplomacy. The Clinton Administration has invested time and prestige in these negotiations. If their personal efforts cannot nudge Netanyahu and Arafat to an agreement, it is hard to imagine what will. No one expects Israel to compromise its security or Mr Arafat to accept humiliating conditions in exchange for Israel keeping promises it agreed to long ago. But an anxious world demands that both leaders keep at these negotiations and make the compromises necessary to save a dangerously troubled peace.

The New York Times

PALESTINE BELONGS to the Arabs and it is wrong to impose the Jews on the Arabs. The crimes and violations committed by Israel against Arabs form part of the fruitless efforts of Israel to deny the existence of Palestine. Israel is not more than a temporary, artificial Zionist entity which has not the requirements of survival and existence. It is really only a colony of the Jews of the West and will live only precariously. Israel will wither away and disappear like so many other artificial entities in this theatre of old-age conflict between dynasties, peoples and races.

Syria Daily