In Brief...World News Review: What Price Peace in the Middle East?

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In Brief...World News Review

What Price Peace in the Middle East?

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Are those cheers of joy or screams of anger that we hear in the wake of the Wye River peace agreement?

In two consecutive, scorching columns, Eric Margolis blasted the Clinton Administration for attempting to "rent Mideast peace" and passing it off as a genuine achievement. Calling it "Hollywood diplomacy," Margolis' perception is in sharp contrast to much of the media that touts the accord as a wonderful achievement.

How expensive is "the rent?"

"Hard figures are beginning to emerge. Israel is likely to get a special U.S. $1 billion grant on top of the $3-5 billion in annual aid that it currently receives. The Palestinian Authority may get $100 million, some of which is more likely to end up in Switzerland than Palestine. This is a very expensive photo-op" (Making America a Bigger Target of Terrorism by Eric Margolis, © 1998).

"The rent" is to be paid in more than just dollars, for the United States has offered to use the Central Intelligence Agency against terrorism in the region and to "ensure the Palestinian Authority is making a maximum effort to crush Palestinian radicals" (ibid.). Margolis soberly warns that United States may pay an even higher price as it reaps increased terrorist activity for using the CIA in this way.

Both the Prime Minister and Yasser Arafat have returned home to angry opposition to the accord. "Ominous cries of 'Bibi-traitor!' heard at demonstrations in Israel this week, have rightly rattled the Shin Bet security service. November 4th will mark the third anniversary of the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, who was killed for launching the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians"(The Economist, October 29, 1998).

In a related, stunning development for watchers of Bible prophecy, the Vatican's Foreign Minister issued a bold statement on October 27, 1998, saying that "Israelis and Palestinians…must consider other interested parties" in discussing the future of Jerusalem.

Archbishop John-Louis Tauran said the Jerusalem is, "too sacred for its future to be decided only by Israelis and the PLO Authority." He added, "The Holy See believes in the importance of extending the representation at the negotiating table in order to be sure that no aspect of the problems is overlooked and to affirm that the whole international community is responsible for the uniqueness and the sacredness of this incomparable city" ("Vatican Calls for Special Status for Jerusalem," © Reuters). (Eric Margolis, The Economist and Reuters.)