Presented by Lapham's Quarterly and the Institute for the Future of the Book

Comments by

M.J. Rosenberg

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4. The Wider Regional Context, paragraph 6
December 21, 2006, 12:11 pm

This is, of course, Madrid redux. Baker rightly hearkens back to one of the great foreign policy successes of his tenture as Secretary of State, the convening of the Madrid conference. It was here where Israelis and Palestinians formally negotiated for the first time. Madrid produced Oslo and Israeli-Palestinian mutual recognition.
Despite everything, that achievent still stands and Baker would like to go back to an international conference and finish the job.

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4. The Wider Regional Context, paragraph 3
December 21, 2006, 12:07 pm

This is an allusion to the forces that will eviscerate the report for mentioning Israel-Palestine. When the Commissioners say that the United States does Israel no favors by avoiding direct involvement to solve the Arab-Israeli conflict, it is really saying that AIPAC and those it deems “friends of Israel” in Congress are not doing Israel any favors by squelching efforts to reach an agreement.

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Executive Summary, paragraph 10
December 21, 2006, 12:00 pm

Interesting that this allusion to Israel-Palestine has caused the neoconservatives (Charles Krauthammer, Bill Kristol, etc) to become so unhinged. This is simply a re-statement of current policy with the call for
“renewed and sustained commitment” to implement it. It is that call that enrages the critics although the very idea of mentioning Israel-Palestine in an Iraq report disturbs them even more i.e. the hint of “comprehensiveness.”