Israel Power, Not Peace

Bowing to the hard line, Shamir saves his job but not his diplomacy

Extremism was in the ascendancy again last week in the Middle East. Capitulating to the hard-line right of his Likud bloc, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir fettered his own plan for elections in the occupied territories with stiff conditions that seem to doom the peace initiative. Almost before the players could grasp the political implications, a fanatic Palestinian wrenched an Israeli bus over a cliff, killing 14 passengers in what was described as an act of vengeance. Those civilian deaths will only harden hearts against thoughts of peace. Once again the small steps being taken toward peace were shoved rudely backward.

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