The Middle East: What Next?

The Middle East: What Next?

There is something unseemly about the in- variably gloomy analyses of the problems that now confront the Middle East, in the wake of the Egypt-Israel peace treaty. The treaty was in itself so remarkable an achievement, and so unexpected, that the event clearly calls for a substantial pause in order to celebrate and, however briefly, to enjoy. No matter that the major tasks still lie ahead; no matter that it is virtually impossible to imagine how the problems that now must, finally, be addressed can be resolved. We owe ourselves at least an overnight pass away from crisis—and we would be wise to take more.

I do not know the mood in Egypt, but both in Israel and in the American Jewish community, the Israel-Egypt treaty evoked at best a shallow and ephemeral joy. Within days of the signing, speakers were being lined up for the 1979-80 season in synagogues and community centers across America, with the leading topic, “The Crisis of Peace.”


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