Can there be peace in the Middle East?
BBC, Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 May, 2004
At a meeting hosted by the UN's Kofi Annan, representatives from the US, Russia and the EU reaffirmed their support for a two-state solution.
Mr Annan also called on the Palestinian Authority to act against militants, and urged Israel to avoid civilian casualties.
Earlier this week, the governing Likud party rejected Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's proposals for Israeli troops and all 7,500 Jewish settlers to leave the Gaza Strip.
Can peace be brought to the Middle East? Send us your views.
The following comments reflect the balance of the opinion we have received:
course there can be peace but only if all sides agree that both the Israelis and
Palestinians have equal claim to the territory that is Israel-Palestine. From that
starting point two separate countries, each with contiguous territory, can be formed.
Provided the final goal is clear those two states could be formed over a period of time in
such a way that the transition is not traumatic or disruptive to either side. Equality of
claim and clarity of goal provide the best hope for long-term peace.
to think peace was possible, but it simply is not. All sides are too stubborn and
unwilling to make concessions. Peace will only come when one side destroys the other, and
it is such a big weight on my heart to have said that.
can only be achieved if both sides are treated equally. There is no point in claiming that
one side is readier to accept a peaceful solution than the other. Both Israelis and
Palestinians are playing games.
when did it matter what the parties, people, committees, peace accords and withdrawal
plans have to say in this part of the world? People will still be murdered at random on
both sides, construction of settlements will continue and everybody will keep on
criticizing the conflict like it's the end of the world. And the leaders just keep getting
older and older and older ... it's pathetic!
the Likud's denial of the Gaza plan, combined with the inability of the Palestine
Authority to stop suicide bombers, I truly wonder: is there anyone left in Israel and
Palestine who wants peace? Or are they too content with trying to exterminate one another
part of the vote against Sharon stems from the fact that on the voting day a pregnant
woman with her 4 daughters were murdered in cold blood in the Gaza strip.
should resign - the world would be a better place.
next for Arafat? I have yet to hear so much as one peep from the Palestinian camp about
how to achieve peace. They just sit there and condemn. I read the English version of Al
Jazeera when I can. They openly despise Israel, but have yet to report on Palestinian
will continue to try to keep Israel safe from dangerous people who wish to harm it.
views condemn Sharon for lack of peace in Israel/Palestine, and make no mention of Arafat
and Hamas sworn intention to eradicate Israel?
hardly have any hope for peace when most unfortunately the Middle East leaders have opted
for "fighting" their way out of the political impasse. I hope for a new
generation of leaders with the "guts" to focus on a promising future and live
the past as a memory.
It is a
win for Sharon. Bush has backed "the evidence on the ground" therefore given the
green light to further land grab. If Sharon toughs it out in Gaza he'll have grounds to
keep it with the US blessing.
Pentagon official recently spoke about her experience with the Bush administration, saying
that our foreign policy agenda essentially came down to fighting Israel's enemies. Sharon
should be in good shape for awhile; no matter what he does, our government supports him.
continue to be berated and condemned the world over. Meanwhile, the Palestinian leadership
and Hamas will continue to receive the tacit support of just about everyone.
next for Sharon? I expect a bunch of folks who know nothing about him and less about
Israel to call him a 'trickster' and 'war criminal' on the BBC's 'Have your say' site.
who claim the peace initiative depends on Sharon and on Israeli government will, are
either ignorant or dishonest. The peace there is possible only when Arab world, and
Palestinians in particular, will abandon their quest for destructing Israel and will stop
their murderous terror against innocent civilians.
and the US are shaping the future of the Palestinian people without their own consent.
Chances for peace are very little.
Party's overwhelming refusal is just a trick. Ariel Sharon was given a broad opportunity
to avoid further US pressure to withdraw from Gaza strip.
next? Hopefully prison in The Hague, in a cell next to Arafat, for crimes against
to me that there is no solution to the lingering solution in this part of the world.
won again! He got a US endorsement for keeping and expanding West Bank settlements, but
now without having to pull out of Gaza; Bush and Blair were taken for a ride.
question is "What next for Bush?" Bush was too quick to jump on Sharon's
bandwagon and now he is exposed again for his shallowness. So now what is the U.S.
position on Middle East peace?
to me this was an issue of confidence within his party. I don't see how he can continue as
Prime Minister. I hope he takes this opportunity to step down, so that peace will have a
chance in Israel.
failure of Sharon's proposal makes him look weak and incompetent at a time when he is
already facing corruption charges and voters are becoming increasingly aware that he has
failed to deliver on his security promises. He has to know that it's over, but I suspect
that he won't leave until he's pushed.
I find the international community rather dim. Sharon
will continue in his post until the elections when he will step down for Netanyahu who
will be voted into office. Then the Israeli government will tell the US administration
they need time to get organized. Again all peace initiates will successfully be postponed.
Meanwhile, Sharon will retire to his multi-million dollar ranch, grinning that he got what
he planned all along. True, he told Bush he would remove the settlers from Gaza and other
west bank settlements. But also true that he had no intention of doing so. He just wanted
to show Bush Israel's peaceful intentions.