A No-Lose Situation

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WASHINGTON, D.C.: By calling this Mideast summit, President Clinton has placed himself in a win-win situation politically five weeks before his election. "Clinton's goal is to quiet down the violence before election day," TIME Washington correspondent Lewis Simons reports. "But his political need for peace is not pressing. He is in a no-lose situation. He has already established strong ties with American Jews. By calling this summit, he is seen as trying to whatever he can to help the peace process." While Simons says Clinton is unlikely to apply too much pressure on either side, the President does have some cards he can play. "It is conceivable that Clinton could make it clear that without some concessions there will be a lack of private sector investment that could be extremely painful economically for both Israel and the Palestinians," Simons notes. "Without money, all the issues like the tunnel are purely symbolic and can be thrown out the window. Improving the economic situation of the Palestinians is where the solution lies." -->