OPINION

Opinion

. ..If there is one thing which characterizes developments in the Middle East, it is the elimination of the right to freedom. Besides, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has never kept any secret of his real intentions. He has opposed the Oslo agreement and has never recognized Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat’s powers. Sharon has found an ally in this catastrophic strategy: Washington. US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld recently said that the present Palestinian leader is no longer of any use. In fact, Arafat himself has also helped to tarnish his own image, and his intransigence prepared the ground for Hamas’s terrorist activity. His refusal to promote the Camp David pact in 2000 helped Sharon win the elections in Israel and fueled Hamas’s extremist drive. Kant thought that world peace was an objective necessity. But peace is neither guaranteed by the benevolence of human nature nor by the people’s well-intentioned protectors. It is the result of the escalation and then the abatement of competition between rival interests. In the Middle East, the escalation obviously requires the killing of innocent children and many suicide attacks. Above all, it requires a lot of hatred. No one doubts that the framework within which Greece is seeking a solution to the series of Greek-Turkish disputes is the framework of its alliances with the US, NATO and the EU. This, however, does not mean that Greece has to succumb to the objectives of its allies and partners at the expense of its national interests. With a proper evaluation of the global balance of power, wisdom, patience and determination, Simitis’s government has to explain to and persuade the US that Greece’s positions are the right ones. It cannot afford to back down on agreements that, paradoxically, promote the interests of Turkey – a country which the 15 EU members refuse to accept in the EU and will not do so for at least another 15 years – at the expense of Greece, an EEC and EU member for 20 years.