eace in the Middle East

As Israeli and South Lebanese Army troops withdrew hastily from Southern Lebanon on Saturday, the Syrian- and Lebanese-backed Hezbollah militia reclaimed land it had not seen since Israel invaded Lebanon in 1982. Although Hezbollah has declared itself victorious in the armies’ removal, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak deserves credit for fulfilling his pledge to leave Lebanon despite not obtaining a promise from Hezbollah to refrain from terrorist attacks.
Hopefully, Israel’s concession will inspire neighboring countries, like Syria and Lebanon, to seek peace rather than war in a region that has been beleaguered by chaos for centuries. If Lebanon continues its assault on Israeli troops across their border, it should only expect catastrophic repercussions in the form of Israeli airstrikes.
After a discussion with Barak in Lisbon, Portugal, President Clinton said he would be sending Secretary of State Madeleine Albright to the Middle East to urge on the troubled peace process. She must convince leaders there that they have little to gain from continued belligerence. Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, who Barak accuses of stalling talks, now has increased impetus to resume the peace process with Israel. Arafat’s efforts will hopefully convince Syrian President Assad to pursue peace, also.