The Arab Summit

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It was meant to be a historic Arab summit of the top leaders of 22 nations, gathered at a key moment for the Middle East. On the table was what some called the first real plan in years for achieving a stable Palestinian state and real peace. However, the Beirut gathering went bust almost before it began.

Yasser Arafat sits in Ramallah, and only half the countries have sent heads of state. It looms as a failure for the Arab world as they fight the perception that all they contribute is accusation above the table and smuggled arms beneath it.

With American negotiators looking powerless, the Arab League seems to be squandering its opportunity for progress. Meanwhile, the bloodletting continues in the Holy Land. Is Mideast solidarity a bomb in Beirut?


Robert Fisk, Middle East Correspondent for The Independent

Rami Khouri, former Editor of the Jordan Times

Raghida Dergham, Senior Diplomatic Correspondent for the London-Based Al Hayat.