Middle East: Time for Negotiations

The idea of an international peace conference to break the diplomatic logjam that has plagued the Middle East for years almost invariably arouses anger. Last week it led to an acrimonious dispute that thoroughly shook the 2 1/2- year-old coalition government in Israel, with Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir bitterly accusing Shimon Peres, his own Foreign Minister, of displaying a "peace-at-any-price" mentality for endorsing such a parley. Every U.S. Administration since the mid-1970s has opposed the idea, largely because it would mean participation by the Soviet Union. Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan were all deeply worried that this would give...

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