gotiations significantly, but thernreal achievement was in the internationalrnsponsorship of thernpeace process. The UnitedrnStates, which i s completely biasedrntoward Israel, is no longerrnthe only sponsor . . .rnSome Europeans agreed: The LondonrnGuardian noted in its lead editorialrn(November 30) that there was a mountingrnArab sense that George W. Bush would bernmore evenhanded and less attached to thernIsraeli cause than a Democratic administration:rnBarak’s election gamble may,rntherefore, produce nothing morernthan a pause while everyone reconsiders,rnthe Americans work outrnwho their next president is, andrnthe Palestinians decide whetherrnthey need to develop a new s t r a t ­egy.rnThis could mean an effortrnto mobilize more players in thernfield, including European governmentsrnand Russia. The more peoplernwho can explain to the Isrrna e l i s that long-term securityrnl i e s in genuine compromise withrnthe millions with whom they sharernthe land, the better. If thernAmericans won’t, others must.rnItaly’s Corriere della Sera wrote (Novemberrn28) that “the pohtical vacuum inrnAmerica gives Putin a hand in reaffirmingrnan international role for his country,”rnwhile in Germany, the right-of-center FinancialrnTimes Deutschland sardonicallyrnadded (November 30) that, “as long as thernsuperpower focuses more on questions ofrndimpled or pregnant chads, it will be of nornhelp as mediator in the Middle East.”rnWhich brings us to the Uttle-known detailsrnof foreign coverage of the disputedrnpresidential election. At first, many overseasrncommentators favorably remarked onrnthe ability of the American system to seekrnthe resolution of a disputed election by legalrnmeans. But after the first two weeks ofrnwrangling, the mood started changing.rnSueddeutsche Zeitung of Munich wrotern(November 20):rnThe United States is cultivatingrna p o l i t i c a l style that generatesrnnear-fright in Europe. The radicalism,rnthe b r u t a l i t y of the legalrnmaneuvering, and the coldbloodedrnp a r t i a l i t y are alien tornEuropeans who have been destinedrnto embrace consensus and createrncoalitions. However, the high TVrnratings and the Americans’ remarkablerninterest in their domestrni c spectacle should not distractrnfrom the fact that most Americanrncitizens reject the blood hunt asrna p o l i t i c a l device.rnFrom a distance, it was apparently easierrnto sum things up weeks in advance.rnMoscow’s Vremya Novosti declared asrnearly as November 20 that “basically, thernwinner is already known. The name of thernUnited States’ 43rd president is GeorgernWalker Bush—but the Gore people arerndoing their utmost to delay the defeat.”rnIn the Arab world, the commentary hadrna predictable tinge, illustrated by Egypt’srnpro-government Al-Ahram (Novemberrn14):rnwhen the recount occurred, Jews,rnand none other, rushed to filernsuits to invalidate the electionsrn. . . The Jewish lobby knows thernfacts but does not want to emergernempty-handed, especially sincernBush’s victory will mean Republicanrncontrol of the White House.rnIn addition, various Third World dictatorsrn—from Baghdad to Tripoli to Havanarnto Harare—had a field day with their attemptsrnat mockery. But America’srnfiiends, too, eventually moved from concernrnto consternation. A week after thernelection, Jamaica’s business-oriented DailyrnObserver called the outcome “a triumphrnof mediocrity”:rnThere may be another lesson to bernlearned by Americans from allrnt h i s : that they may think twicernwhen adopting a supercilious arrogancernto p o l i t i c a l problems andrni n s t a b i l i t y elsewhere in thernworld.rnGermany’s Frankfurter Allgemeinernalso wondered (November 21) “how difficultrnit will be for the new president torndispel doubts about his legitimacy.” Handelsblattrnof Diisseldorf summed up thernviews of many Europeans (Novemberrn20):rnThe fact that U.S. judges apparentlyrnhave to decide the presidentialrnrace i s not scandalous.rnWhat i s scandalous . . . is thernway in which both candidatesrnp o l i t i c i z e the legal b a t t l e .rnSuits are being filed to winrntime. Judges are being pressuredrnin public. All of this isrnmade worse by the fact that manyrnjudges take office by beingrnelected, practically as candidatesrnof the two p o l i t i c a l partrni e s .rnIn Italy, the conservative // Giornalerncommented on its front page (Novemberrn21) that, “accustomed as they are to judgingrnthe world and giving it lessons ofrndemocracy, the American people discoverrnnow that the rest of the world is makingrnfun of the United States.” La Repubblicarnnoted “signs of a banana republic-like degenerationrnin Florida,” while in SouthrnAfrica, Ray Hartley commented in thernSunday Times (November 19) that RobertrnMugabe has been positively gloating overrnAmerica’s loss of the moral high ground:rnThe United States and Zimbabwernnow s i t uncomfortably togetherrnsomewhere on the gray scale ofrnvoting irregularity, the differencernbeing one of degree, ratherrnthan principle. . . . The UnitedrnStates may lose much of i t s abilirnt y to preach to despots who wantrnto cook their elections, and arnpresident elected by a minority,rnshould t h i s come to pass, willrnhardly be an effective advocaternof majority rule. Brace yourselfrnfor postponed elections, riggedrnelections and minority rule, allrnof i t justified with a sarcasticrnswipe at the mother of a l l democracies.rnSpeaking of South Africa, it is curiousrnthat the American media—once so eager tornhonize Nelson Mandela as a saintly multiracialistrn—deemed it fit to report on thernformer president’s open exploitation ofrnrace in the country’s local elections last December.rnAccording to South Africa Nowrn(, Mandela, speakingrnon behalf of the all-black ANC—rnand attacking the multiracial oppositionrnDemocratic Alliance, which is led by Jewishrnanti-apartheid activist Tony L^on—assuredrnhis audience that “no white partyrncan run this country” and that, “no matterrnhow they cover up by getting a few blackrnstooges,” whites want to “remain the bosses.”rn24/CHRONlCLESrnrnrn