April 12, 1991
In the Mideast hope too often turns out to be a mirage and peace plans lay scattered in the sands like the remains of strayed people and defeated tanks. But the wish always is that maybe this time things will work out.This time got a big boost Thursday when Saudi Arabia told Secretary of State Baker it would not give any more money to the Palestine Liberation Organization. The PLO got into trouble with most Arab governments when it sided with Iraq during the gulf war. But both it and its leader somehow have managed to come back from defeat and miscalculation time and again.
July 26, 1991
If Hafez el Assad said yes because he thought Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir would say no, he may have been sadly mistaken. But the Syrian president probably made no such miscalculation. He does not normally outsmart himself.Wrestling with the question whether to comply with Secretary of State James A. Baker III's plan for Middle East negotiations, Mr. ,, Shamir is, on the surface, his old intransigent self. His political career is not, however, dedicated to saying no. It is dedicated to preserving for Israel all the land it now holds, and to winning eventual Arab acceptance by holding firm.
June 25, 1992
JERUSALEM -- For a moment, in the wee hours of yesterday, the fresh wound of defeat brought out the old underground fighter in Yitzhak Shamir.The cotton-mouth way of his usual speech disappeared. He stopped staring at his shoelaces. He shook as though with fever, and raised his fist in an angry cry."Our movement . . . has never been spoiled. Everything we have achieved, we have achieved with great effort and suffering," he said in a voice hoarse with emotion. "We have had to walk a path of thorns."
March 11, 1992
Long before his death Monday after a heart attack at 78, Menachem Begin was a spent force in Israel. In August 1983, he resigned and went into a seclusion from which he never emerged. What had happened? His wife of 43 years had died. Israel's invasion of Lebanon the year before, which he had ordered, accomplished none of its political goals, leaving the PLO intact as a force against Israel and Lebanon a shambles of anarchy.Yet two of his legacies endure. One is the peace with Egypt, responding to President Anwar Sadat's initiative and President Jimmy Carter's patience at Camp David in 1978.
June 22, 1992
JERUSALEM -- The Israeli police minister has backed off his threat to arrest members of the Palestinian delegation to the peace talks, a move that could have paralyzed the negotiations.Police Minister Ronni Milo had announced Friday that he would immediately arrest top members of the delegation when they returned to Israel from a meeting in Amman, Jordan, with the chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization. Such meetings violate Israeli law.But a spokeswoman for Mr. Milo said yesterday that the delegates would not be arrested but would be asked to come to a police station for questioning.
October 30, 1991
Conventional wisdom holds that it's a miracle that the international conference on the Middle East even opened at all, and that any resolution of the region's intractable problems is months or even years away.It is vital to understand that time is not on the side of peace, especially in light of the stated determination of the present Israeli government to continue to build settlements on the West Bank.Every American president since Lyndon Johnson has maintained that the settlements are either illegal or are obstacles to peace, for the simple reason that settlements amount to the incremental annexation of the West Bank into Israel proper.