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Peace, Not Party Politics

Peace, Not Party PoliticsDemocrats should support Bush's policy on the Middle East, says former Democratic National Committee official and Tufts alum. Washington.

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [07.06.01] This week, another round of shootings and bombings topped the news from the Middle East, as the newly instituted cease fire between Israelis and Palestinians collapsed. Again, the Bush administration was forced to become a broker in the region, leaving many in the U.S. to wonder about America's role in the Middle East.

While the latest breakdown in the peace process offers an opportunity for Democrats to criticize the President's policy in the region, a former Democratic leader and Tufts graduate says such party politics are a mistake.

"There will be ample opportunity during periods of delicate diplomacy in the coming weeks for some Democrats to try to score easy political points by accusing this administration of working against Israel's interests," wrote Alan Solomont -- former finance chair of the Democratic National Committee -- in a Boston Globe opinion piece.

"But we must resist that temptation and rally around President Bush."

According to Solomont, the Bush administration must be "an honest broker" in the Middle East, which requires some breathing room in Washington.

"Bush and [Secretary of State Colin] Powell need to know that Democrats won't jump all over them every time they get involved in the region," Solomont wrote.

The 1970 Tufts graduate and University Trustee said Democrats requested the same cooperation when Clinton made similar efforts for Peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

"Will Democrats back a Republican President when the time comes for him to urge both parties to take the painful steps needed to get back on the road to peace? I believe we must," Solomont wrote in the Globe.

The newly-released Mitchell report -- which outlines steps for both parties to take towards peace -- is a good framework for Bush, and should receive support from Democrats and Republicans alike, Solomont wrote.

"The administration can root its next steps in the report's balanced recommendations, which entail an immediate cease-fire, renewed security cooperation, confidence-building, measures by both sides and a resumption of talks," he wrote.

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