Ronald Young at PrincetonRonald Young
, founder and executive director of the U.S. Interreligious Committee for Peace in the Middle East , spoke about the peace process at Princeton University
on Feb. 10.From 1982 to 1985 , Young served in Amman as Middle East representative of the American Friends Service Committee
.After writing Missed Opportunities for Peace : U.S. Middle East Policy , 1981-86 ( 1987 ) , he founded the Interreligious Committee to counteract pressure groups in Washington
described the Middle East conflict as a situation where each side wants the other side to disappear.Events in the early 1990s-the end of the Cold War and the rise of new forms of extremism-convinced each side to negotiate for peace.Most importantly , each side grudgingly realized that the other is here to stay.He
acknowledged that the situation for Palestinians is worse as a result of the interim arrangements.Islands of self-government surrounded by Israeli-controlled areas have made freedom of movement more difficult.But , he
said , they do have some self-government with leadership on the ground.
Israelis have benefited from intelligence co-operation between Israel , Jordan , and the Palestinian Authority to prevent attacks on Israelis , which is also good for Palestinians.Young
noted that in an election year , politicians exploit issues rather than try to solve problems.Nevertheless , he
sees the role of Americans interested in furthering the peace process as urging the U.S. government to take the following actions :.
• Encourage the world community to help Lebanon with its problem of Palestinian refugees , who increase tensions on an already strained country.
• Support the presence of international troops on the Lebanese/Israel border , if necessary.
• Support the presence of U.S. troops on the Golan Heights.