UT History Professor Says Mideast Peace Elusive

Knoxville – As negotiators try to get the Mideast peace talks back on track, sporadic violence continues in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

A University of Tennessee history professor said the people of the United States may be trying too hard to find a quick fix to the problem.

“I think the American public and the media, in general, tend to be overly optimistic in their expectations for peace and for a settlement of the Israel-Palestine issue,” said Dr. Palmira Brummett.

But Brummett said negotiations would likely continue.

Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak held a day of meetings at the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

Brummett said both sides have some responsibility for the latest outbreak of violence.

“Although the recent incident was sparked by Ariel Sharon-s march into the Al Aqsa and Temple Mount complex,” Brummett said, “it wasn-t the only thing that provoked the recent round of conflict, but I think it was the spark.”

“One has to appreciate the depth of feeling about this particular piece of turf.”