Ideas. Action. Impact. The Washington Institute for Near East Policy The Washington Institute: Improving the Quality of U.S. Middle East Policy

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Taba Mythchief

David Makovsky

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National Interest

Spring 2003

After the U.S.-led coalition routed Iraq in Operation Desert Storm in 1991, President George H.W. Bush told Congress that he would vigorously pursue the Arab-Israeli peace process. Indeed, a landmark Middle East peace conference in Madrid followed in short order, which for the first time brought Israel to the same table with all its immediate neighbors. A second U.S.-led war against Iraq will also likely be followed by a focus on the Arab-Israeli arena. This American impulse is likely to be strongly reinforced by other actors. If such a push should come, it would be tragic were it plagued by a misleading mythology—that Israelis and Palestinians were at the verge of peace in January 2001 as they met at Taba, a tiny Egyptian resort adjoining the Israeli port city of Eilat....