Ehud Olmert on the opportunity for peace An "unnecessary diplomatic clash between Israel and the Palestinians" is making former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert "uneasy," Olmert himself writes in The New York Times. Olmert wants a two-state solution in the Middle East, but he fears this week's conflict will crush the opportunity for one. The Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas has the right to seek statehood unilaterally with the U.N. general assembly. "But this is not the wisest step Mr. Abbas can take." Nor is Benjamin Netanyahu's effort to rally Israel and its allies to oppose Abbas's bid "the wisest step Mr. Netanyahu can take." Olmert recalls the peace deal he offered Abbas in 2008. It established a Palestinian state "on territory equivalent in size to the pre-1967 West Bank and Gaza Strip," split Jerusalem into Israeli and Palestinian neighborhoods with shared power of the holy sites. Now, the Arab Spring and suffering relations with allies like Turkey mean Israel no longer has time to postpone finding a solution. A delay will only strengthen extremists. "In Israel, we are sorry for the loss of life of Turkish citizens in May 2010, when Israel confronted a provocative flotilla of ships bound for Gaza," he writes, saying a "proper way" for Israel to express this sentiment "will be found." "Israel will not always find itself sitting across the table from Palestinian leaders like Mr. Abbas and the prime minister, Salam Fayyad, who object to terrorism and want peace." They should take the opportunity now, before it is too late, he says.
Terry Anderson on a Green Tea Party Neither political party has shown environmental leadership, writes Hoover fellow Terry Anderson in The Wall Street Journal. "Democrats keep throwing money and regulations at environmental problems, and Republicans keep arguing that a focus on jobs and the economy must trump environmental protection," he says. "It is time for a movement that brings environmental quality through economic prosperity. It's time for a Green Tea Party." Neither budget increases nor regulations will effectively change the environment, he argues. "Only prosperity and incentives can drive environmental improvements." Data shows that economic growth goes hand in hand with environmental improvements. A Green Tea Party would incentivize economic action not regulate it, he says. Rather than fund green energy producers, as the Obama administration foolishly did with Solyndra, he says, the government should encourage free market policies. A Green Tea Party would advocate requiring "land management agencies such as the Forest Service, Park Service and Bureau of Land Management turn a profit on the federal estate." For years, the government has made water cheap for consumers. "Water markets would make consumers face the full cost, including the environmental cost, thus reducing the demand for water and providing more revenue for deteriorating infrastructure, such as water treatment plants." Such ideas would unite deregulation and environmental protection under one party's banner, he says. "The GTP would serve environmental quality, budget cuts and economic prosperity."