View From a Height
Commentary from the Mile High City
Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Discouraging News from Dubai

This disturbing items comes from a Jerusalem Post report on Israel's participation at the IMF conference in Dubai. The conference has been something of a sensation in Israel, since it's the first time an Israeli flag has flown in Dubai, and Dubai is one of the more reasonable Gulf States.

Concerning statements made by the Iraqi delegation that Israel will not be permitted to participate in the rebuilding of Iraq, Sheetrit said Israel has no intention of requesting a part in the process. "We are not going to push ourselves into Iraq if they don't want it," he said. "It is too early for Israeli companies to do projects in Iraq. There is room for Israeli cooperation with Iraq, but we will provide it only upon a request from Iraq."

I had a long rant up here about the unfairness of it all before. I still think it's unfair. If it's a situation that persists, it'll be a nightmare: democratic Arab countries who still hate Israel. But the Administration has earned the benefit of the doubt, and deserves some time for us to see how this will play out.

UPDATE: The more I think about it, the worse news this is. It undermines the whole project of turning the Middle East into a normal region with normal countries. The longer we let them set special rules for Israel, especially now, the more we validate that kind of behavior. Think about it: France and Germany, who supported keeping Saddam in power, will be able to bid on these contracts, but Israel won't.

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