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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Panel: U.S. should update role in Mideast

    Shlomo Aronson, a visiting professor for the Arizona Center for Judaic Studies, speaks to a nearly full house in the Social Sciences building last night. The public forum, Israel, Lebanon and a New Middle East? centered around the conflict in the region.
    Shlomo Aronson, a visiting professor for the Arizona Center for Judaic Studies, speaks to a nearly full house in the Social Sciences building last night. The public forum, ‘Israel, Lebanon and a New Middle East?’ centered around the conflict in the region.

    The only way the U.S. can help achieve peace in the Middle East is to employ all-inclusive diplomacy, not violence, a panel of UA professors said yesterday.

    Richard Eaton, a professor in the history department, said arrogance on the part of Israel and the U.S. caused some of the violent fallout in the region.

    “”Ultimately, Israel must learn it is a part of a larger Middle East community, and America must relearn that it is part of a larger world community and not some anachronistic throwback to the days of Julius Caesar,”” Eaton said.

    The professor’s reference to the early years of the Roman Empire drew enthusiastic applause. Some audience members gave him a standing ovation.

    The forum, “”Israel, Lebanon and a ‘New Middle East,'”” drew a crowd that nearly filled the 500-seat auditorium of the Social Sciences building.

    Jennifer Jalowiec, an undeclared freshmen, said she went to the event because she wanted to know why peace has been so elusive in the region.

    Leila Hudson, a Near Eastern studies assistant professor, said that violence in the region would only galvanize the Arab public around radical Islamic groups, which she said would be more unpopular otherwise.

    Instead, like Eaton, Hudson advocated multilateral talks to bring stability to the troubled region.

    “”The road to stability involves talking to as many countries as possible,”” Hudson said. “”You can’t engage the situation without engaging all the key players.””

    The night’s major disagreement came when two professors clashed in regard to the political state of southern Lebanon.

    Shlomo Aronson, a visiting faculty member from Israel, said that most people in the war-ravaged area are sympathetic to Israel’s cause because they understand that the terrorist organization Hezbollah began the conflict with the Israelis.

    But Faten Ghosn, an assistant professor in Near Eastern studies, said most people in Lebanon are outraged by the civilians deaths since Israel bombed highly populated areas on its hunt for Hezbollah militants.

    Hudson said it is too early to tell what repercussions military action in the Middle East will have, but the war is sure to alter the political and military face of the region.

    “”The ‘New Middle East’ is going to be defined by unintended consequences,”” Hudson said.

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