Back on the diplomatic front, it begins to seem absurd to demand that the Palestinian ministers respect previous agreements just at the moment when the anti-Oslo, anti-peace process Lieberman is entering the Israeli government. The choice today on the Israeli-Arab conflict is stark and binary – either pursue peace-making or begin the countdown to the next bloody war. This ugly Lieberman moment, which seals Olmert’s post-Lebanon political recovery, should for the U.S. be a time to re-launch diplomatic efforts.
Steve Clemons on his thewashingtonnote blog wrote a very thoughtful piece yesterday on Senator Lincoln Chafee and the principled realist stand that he has represented in the Senate on Middle East issues. Clemons suggested that should Chafee not return to the Senate, then he should be considered as a bipartisan choice to assume a role on the Arab-Israeli front (perhaps in a new Baker-Hamilton style broadly mandated study group on the Middle East Peace Process). If the Democrats can take back Congress, for heaven’s sake, let TPM Cafe readers be at the forefront of those who encourage a more thoughtful, assertive and courageous Democratic stand on promoting U.S. reengagement on Israeli-Arab peacemaking.