In his first week as Prime Minister of Israel, Ariel Sharon dug up roads and sent in the troops to blockade Palestinian towns on the West Bank and Gaza.
He says he’s done it to keep terrorists out of Israel – Critics say he wants to strangle the economy of the Palestinians until they’re forced to submit. The trenches, tanks, and checkpoints have made life unbearable for ordinary Palestinians, but they’re also fuelling the rage of Arab gunmen. Meanwhile – Israelis live in fear of more suicide bombings – and even peaceniks have lost faith in the process. Only months ago, peace seemed inevitable. Today, it feels impossible. Sharon is telling Yasir Arafat to make the first move.
But he might not be able to deliver, even if he wants to. Oslo’s long gone: Bill Clinton couldn’t cut a deal, and President Bush is less than engaged. Can anyone solve the question of Palestine – and can the US afford not to?
(Hosted by Judy Swallow)
Adli Danan, general secretary of the International Palestinian Youth League, Hebron
Marc Gopin, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University;
Allegra Pacheco, attorney and Peace Fellow, Bunting Institute at Radcliffe Institute.