Middle East Hopeful U.S., Skeptical Israel

As peace is considered, kidnapings raise Lebanese tensions

"Why cross an ocean when you can cross a river? Why should we sail to Washington when we can meet right away ten miles from here?" That was Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres' reaction last week to the latest developments in a Middle East peace initiative by Jordan's King Hussein that has found qualified acceptance in Washington. Not surprisingly, after years of Jordanian refusal to deal directly with Israel, Peres was skeptical, and so were many of his countrymen.

The maneuvering over the Jordanian proposal, following King Hussein's visit to Washington, coincided with the third anniversary of Israel's invasion of ,...

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