It all comes down to Israel's occupation of the West Bank. At least that's what one of the mantras on Middle East politics would have you believe.
Former US secretary of state James Baker has just made that argument in Washington. The much-anticipated report of Baker's Iraq Study Group declared: "the United States cannot achieve its goals in the Middle East unless it deals directly with the Arab-Israeli conflict."
But the view that places Jews at the core of an entire region's trials and tribulations is founded upon misinformation and spurious reasoning. With a handful of exceptions, the Islamic nations of the Middle East have been independent for more than half a century. During that time, Arab rulers have made catastrophic policy decisions that wrought havoc upon their people.