The Compass

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Tom Friedman Goes There

PEACEPROCESS.jpg

This strikes me as a pretty important column from Thomas Friedman:

If we are still begging Israel to stop building settlements, which is so manifestly idiotic, and the Palestinians to come to negotiations, which is so manifestly in their interest, and the Saudis to just give Israel a wink, which is so manifestly pathetic, we are in the wrong place. It’s time to call a halt to this dysfunctional “peace process,” which is only damaging the Obama team’s credibility.

If the status quo is this tolerable for the parties, then I say, let them enjoy it. I just don’t want to subsidize it or anesthetize it anymore. We need to fix America. If and when they get serious, they’ll find us. And when they do, we should put a detailed U.S. plan for a two-state solution, with borders, on the table. Let’s fight about something big.

I agree. It's important to underscore that the Arab-Israeli conflict is a very big deal to Arabs and Israelis. We insist on getting involved by cutting huge aid checks to Israel and inserting ourselves in between the combatants to broker a deal, but ultimately, who lives where in the West Bank has absolutely no strategic bearing on the security of the United States. In theory at least, this understanding would liberate us from this counter-productive morass.

(AP Photos)