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From the May 2002 issue of World Press Review (VOL. 49, No. 5)

Viewpoints

Violence Escalates in the Middle East

Viewpoints from the international press

Israeli Palestinian Conflict
The Assyrian Orthodox Church in Bethlehem is obscured by smoke from a burning Palestinian building destroyed by Israeli mortar fire, April 2, 2002. Israel has denied claims that a priest was killed in the fighting (Photo: AFP).
Munich Süddeutsche Zeitung (centrist), March 8: After the dramatic escalation of the past days, the United States as the leading actor in the Middle East conflict has at least understood that it must end its restraint....When the quarreling gets fully out of control, America could become Israel’s military defender. But with that, the fronts would be clear: George Bush’s government would lose the support of Arab states in its war on terror, and fanatical Islamic groups would gain new supporters.
 —Stefan Kornelius

Dhaka Janakantha (independent), March 15: Everybody knows Israel’s extreme barbarity is sustained by the backing of the West. Once the United States stops its blind support of everything Israel does and tries to force it back to the path of peace, reason, and agreements, the Middle East problem will get solved very easily.

Singapore The Straits Times (independent), March 11: Terrorism will remain a global problem even if peace breaks out in the Middle East, but a resolution of the Palestinian issue will blunt a certain edge in world affairs, which many Muslims feel—a sharpness, which they think is pointed against them.

That edge is the bleeding humiliation of the Palestinian people....By making a statement for peace, Israelis would give both themselves and the rest of the world security.

Stockholm Dagens Nyheter (liberal), March 6: Observers say that the settlements are Ariel Sharon’s life work. With him in power, the retreat from the occupied territories needed to achieve peace will never happen. Sharon does not appear to be after coexistence; rather, he is set on destroying whatever remains of the Palestinian infrastructure.

Chennai The Hindu (centrist), March 18: The U.N. Security Council has at long last made a ringing endorsement of the “vision” of a sovereign state that the hapless Palestinian people can call their own at some future date....As a result, a welcome ideological shift seems to have occurred in the international political arena toward the recognition of a fair settlement of the prolonged Israeli-Palestinian conflict.                                             

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