By Jared Voss, The Times (South Africa)
On March 6th, following the end of The Gulf War, United States President George Bush announced “the time has come to put an end to the Arab-Israeli conflict.” Despite his statement, the President’s Cabinet didn’t seem to share the same optimism. United States National Security Advisor, Brent Scowcroft, explained in an interview that “ President Bush is not going to be fully capable of focusing on the issue until his next term.”
Many politicians in the Levant region have taken official statements from the United States with a grain of salt due to the apparent lack of a solid plan for peace in the region. Due to the absence of guidance, Israeli officials debate constantly whether or not the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) should have a role in negotiations. While many consider the group a terrorist organization, the majority of Palestinians consider the organization the leader of their freedom movement.
The United States has shown clear bias in the past. Brent Scowcroft, stated “It would be incredibly valuable for the United States to have a stable ally in the Middle East,” and heavily suggested that ally to be Israel, therefore it is expected that any peace negotiations led by the United States would most likely not include the Palestine Liberation Organization. Regardless, many international officials have spoken in favor for the United States to lead peace talks between Israel and the surrounding Arab states as soon as possible in order to avoid another outbreak of conflict.
The involvement of the United States peace negotiations between Israel and Palestine, mainly their decision on whether or not to include the Palestinians in the peace talks, will likely have lasting effects on the Levant Region for decades to come.