Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Journalist calls 2008 a ?year of peace? for Israel

An award-winning journalist told a group of University of
Wisconsin students Wednesday that 2008 is the year for Middle Eastern peace.

The event took place after being cancelled in November 2007
when David Makovsky, director of the Project on the Middle East Peace Process
at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, was called to a meeting with
Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice.

The evening was hosted by MadPAC, a pro-Israel, bipartisan
political organization on campus, and was co-hosted by the College Republicans,
College Democrats and the Middle Eastern Studies Department.

Makovsky, an expert in Arab-Israeli relations, peace
processes, U.S. Policy, Middle East democratization, Israeli politics and the
Palestinians, discussed his take on the current situation in the Middle East
and highlighted the importance of optimism and hope.

?We need to try not to be so cynical about things,? Makovsky
said. ?This is the first time since the 1991 Madrid Peace Conference the
leaders actually believe the other wants peace. ? There hasn?t been this kind
of trust between both sides for a long time.?

Makovsky also emphasized the importance of dignity in the
peace dealings.


?Each side sees themselves as victims,? Makovsky said. ?Any
deal that doesn?t give dignity to both sides is a deal that doesn?t work. ? Each
side needs to compromise.?

He also said change needs to happen sooner rather than
later, and action must replace rhetoric.

?What I think we have right now, what we haven?t had in a
long time, is that the leadership on both sides ? understands that if this
conflict, as difficult as it is, is not resolved, it is going to morph and
evolve into a religious conflict,? Makovsky said. ?Once it turns from a
national conflict to a religious conflict, all bets are off.?

MadPAC and the College Dems both agreed that the objective
views Makovsky brought were very important to further educate the students at

?[He?s] someone who sees both sides of this issue and treats
all parties with dignity,? said Scott Resnick, electronic media chair of the
College Democrats. ?[Makovsky] brings a very level-headed and rational point of

Emily Singer, president of MadPac and a junior studying
international studies, was very happy with the turnout at the event.

 ?The Middle
East is a hot topic for everyone, not just Jewish organizations, which is why
we tried to alert different groups of people to this event,? Singer said. ?He
is someone who comes from a very academic, non-partisan background. It is so
important to have someone from that background to give a balanced view of the

Sophomores Lizzie Maxwell and Mara Alpert both attended the
lecture to learn more about Israel before their visits to the area next

?I have a real interest in Israeli culture, but I have a
lack of knowledge of political affairs,? Alpert said. ?I try to take advantage
of as many of these events as possible.?

Makovsky ended his lecture with a call for help.

?I just have some hope of resilience [there],? Makovsky
said. ?I go to campuses and see the surge of people interested in these issues.
I just hope you can all support these people in the ways you can.?

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