The Arabs and Prospects for a Middle East Settlement

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Polk, William R.
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1974-03-06
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BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE|Dr. Polk has degrees from Harvard and Oxford Universities among othersIn 1961-65 Dr. Polk was in Washington, D.C., as a member of the Policy Planning Council, Department of State.
SUMMARY| Understanding the Middle East requires starting with the psychology of the main players. Zionists are sensitive to European anti-Semitism and the desperate holocaust memory yet have pride and self-confidence from their achievements in Israel. The Arab World worries from its legacy of neglect, of underdevelopment, of inability to work together, and from the scar of being despised by Europe. The United States, with its "Fix It" mentality, has drawn maps, tried to limit arms sales, talked up joint mega-projects (that fail to start), and even rigged an election to try to move Palestinians beyond demanding compensation. Both sides have used terrorism - a weapon of the strategically weak; Israelis first, then Palestinians. Polk has been involved in several negotiations on this problem but each time one party or another has scuttled it: Israel, US, Palestinians, or the USSR.
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