In a recent opinion piece about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict New York Times columnist David Brooks wrote the following:
“It no longer makes sense to look at the Israeli-Palestinian contest as an independent struggle. It, like every conflict in the region, has to be seen as a piece of the larger 30 Years’ War. It would be nice if Israel would withdraw from Gaza and the West Bank and wall itself off from this war, but that’s not possible. No outsider can run or understand this historical process, but Israel, like the U.S., will be called upon to at least weaken some of the more radical players, like the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and Hamas.”
Thank you, Mr. Brooks, for your analysis. I concur that “No outsider can run or understand this historical process.” Absent that understanding, I am at a loss to comprehend how the United States can expect to broker a lasting peace. Over the past fourteen years we have clearly demonstrated our inability to affect positive change within the region. In fact our very presence in the region seems to do little more than add fuel to the flame. When we are “called on to at least weaken some of the radical players” it seems that our engagement only makes matters worse.
I believe that it is time for a war weary nation to step back and let those who better understand the complexities take the lead.