rRESIDENT CLINTON failed tornrestart the Middle East peace process atrnthe United Nations’ “millennial” summitrnin New York in September. In meetingsrnwith Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barakrnand Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, Clintonrnmade one final attempt to provide hisrnpresidency with a badly needed foreignrnpolicy success by brokering a deal.rnHis failure is not surprising, and it mayrnhave a silver lining: It is better not to signrnan agreement than to rush negotiationsrnbecause of an arbitrary deadline. Therernis little room for compromise, either onrnthe status of Jerusalem or on the return ofrnPalestinian refugees to their pre-194Srnhomes. Eollowing Clinton’s meeting inrnCairo last August with Egyptian PresidentrnHosni Mubarak, it became clearrnthat there is no political will, even amongrnAmerica’s Arab allies, to end the currentrnMiddle East standstill by pressing Mr.rnArafat for more concessions. Havingrnpostponed his plan to declare independencernon September 13, he can concedernno more at this stage.rnOn the other hand, Mr. Barak’s positionrnis precarious and —with a single voternmajority in the Knesset—any hint of arncompromise could bring his governmentrndown when the legislature reconvenes inrnNovember. He will need a strongerrnmandate from the Israeli electorate if hernwants to forge a real peace agreement.rnHe has hinted at a deal that would leavernthe status of Jerusalem open, but that isrnnot realistic: Without a formal agreementrnon Jerusalem, there can be no lastingrnpeace in the Middle East.rnJerusalem is revered b) Jews, Muslims,rnand Christians. Wlien the talks at CamprnDaid broke down last July, this was the issuernon which neither side was willing torncompromise. The Palestinians insist thatrnEast Jerusalem, captured by Israeli troopsrnfrom Jordan in the Six Da’ War in 1967,rnshould be the capital of their future independentrnstate. Tlie Israelis, however, regardrnthe whole of Jerusalem as their sovereignrnterritory and God-given indivisible capital.rnMr. Clinton was hoping that otherrnArab states would gie.Arafat the coxcr hernneeded to compromise on the status ofrnJerusalem and that the Israeli public, in arnreferendimi on the issue, would provernmore tlexible than their elected politiciansrnin the Knesset. But Mr. Arafat’srncredibilib,’ among his own people wouldrncollapse if he were to give up on the demandrnfor East Jerusalem, and the Knessetrnwould ote Prime Minister Barak’srngovernment out of office before allowingrnit to seek a deal that would not win ])arliamentar’rna]3proval.rnMr. Barak has used his slim parlianieutarrnmajoritv as an excuse for notrnmaking concessions in the past, but hernnow must realize that his negotiating posihournwould be .strengthened if he couldrnobtain a clear mandate from the Israelirnpublic to forge a peace agreement. He isrnpreparing to wage an ead elecHon campaignrnon a radicallv secular platform,rnwriting off the ultra-Orthodox Slias andrnother religious parties as potential coalitionrnpartiiers. He is tring to appeal to Israel’srnsecular majorih^ b’ dismantling thernReligious Affairs Ministr and giving Israelrna written constitution which wouldrndiminish the power of the Orthodox establishment.rnIf he succeeds, it will berngood news for the “peace process,” but —rnto Mr. Clinton’s chagrin —tire frmts ofrnthat success will belong to tine next administrationrnin Washington.rnSome mixed-soxereigntv formula tiiatrnrecognizes the competing claims on all orrnpart of Jerusalem ma eventualK IJC devised,rnbut it is unclear win’ Mr. (“lintonrntiiinks he is better qualified to find it tiiaurnhis successor. In the final montiis of hisrnpresidencv, the Middle East “peace process”rnis at a .stand.still, but that is no greatrntraged: All of Clinton’s talk about “deadlines”rnand “last chances” was empt-rnrhetoric. As an editorialist declared in thernJordan Times: “It is nai-e to expect that allrntiie outstanding issues in tiiis ccntun-oldrnconflict can be resoKed in a matter ofrnweeks or months. It is also politicalh’ irresponsiblernand morallv wrong for leaders onrnboth sides to substitute personal politicalrntimetables for international legal nonns asrnthe driving force for tiie negotiations.”rnBoth Arabs and Israelis know that Mr.rnClinton does not give a hoot for the justice,rnpeace, or hap]3iness of tiie peo|3le ofrntiie I loly Laud. The}- don’t mind tiie stalematernwhile tiie political land.scape is beingrnrearranged. The onl’ parti, desperate for arnquick deal was our disgraced President.rn— Srdja TrifhnicrnO B I T E R DICTA: TWO articles in lastrnmontii’s issue (“Dare to Be a Daniela” brnHarold O.]. Brown and “A Killing Prixac”rnb- Thomas Eleming) inistakeuK referredrnto Stenherg v. Carhart, the recentrnU.S. Supreme Court decision overturningrnNebra.ska’s ban on partial-birtii abortion,rnas Nebraska v. Carhart. We regretrnthe error.rnPaintings and sculptiire bv Chronicles’rnart director, H. Ward Sterett, will be onrndispkn- at Octane Interlounge, 124 NortiirnMain Street in Rockford, from Novemberrn3 through December 1, ZOOO. Ifrnvou’re in tiie area, please stop b.rnThe Rockford Institute’s Fourth AnnualrnSummer School will be held Julv 24-rn28, 2001, at The Rockford Institute.rnWe’ll examine tiie rich ])olitical and literarrnheritage of the American Midwest,rnwith special emphasis on MidwesternrnCopperheads, America Firsters, isolationists.rnProgressives, and Populists, andrnwe’ll read and discuss selected works ofrnSinclair Lewis, Booth Tarkington, LaurarnIngalls Wilder, and Louis Bromfield.rn1 he fiiculh’ will feature some familiarrnfaces, including Cliiiton Williamson,rnJr., Thomas Fleming, and Bill Kauffman,rnas well as some new taces: Chronicles’rnassistant editor Jeffrey Thomas Kuhner,rnwho is writing his doctoral dissertationrnon Robert A. Taft; and novelist andrnshortistorv w riter Anthony Bukoski, whornteaches Midwestem literahire at the Ihiiversitrnof Wisconsin, Superior. Enrollment isrnlimited, so mark vonr calendar now. Watchrnfiihire Issues oiChrouicles tor more details.rnOm first poet this month is RobertrnBeum, who resides in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.rnDr. Benin’s poems and essavsrnhave appeared in the Sewaiiee Review,rnNational Review, tiie Christian Centur)’,rnPrairie Schooner, and the Southwest Review,rnamong others. His most recentrnbook is Inscriptions, a collection of shortrnpoems, some of which have appeared inrnC/77TO;!;c7es.rnOur second poet, David Middlcton, isrnpoet in residence at Nicholls State Lniversitrnin Thibodaux, [.ouisiaua. Hisrnhooks of verse include I’he BurningrnFields (LSU Press, 19911, As VarAs LightrnRemains (The C^ummington Press,rn1993), and his latest, Bevoiid the Chandeleursrn(LSI! Press, 1999). Mr. Middleton’srnverse has appeared in manv journals,rnincluding tiie Sewanee Review andrntile Southern Review. He serves as poetrv^rneditor for tiie Anglican Theological Reviewrnand tiie Classical Outlook.rnOur art is provided bv Patrick Fitzgerald,rna native of Canada, who studied illustrationrnat tiie Ontario College of .rtrnand Design in Toronto. Before becomingrna freelance illustrator, he worked forrnan advertising agenev for hvo ears. Hisrnclients have included the WashinotonrnPost, the U.S. Postal Service, HarcourtrnBrace, Scholastic, Penguin, and OxfordrnUniversitv Press. His work regularlv ap-rn|5ears in tiic Toronto Clohe and Mail.rnNOVFMBER 20()()/’)rnrnrn