With Israel and Palestine at a violent impasse, Saudi Arabia stepped in earlier this week to propose a plan to end the decades-old war. Saudi Arabia promised full recognition of Israel's right to exist if Israel pulled its troops out of occupied lands that formerly belonged to Arab nations. Because of Saudi Arabia's influence in the region, their recognition of Israel would likely sway other Arab nations to follow suit.
Secretary of State Colin Powell called the Saudi plan a "minor development" on Friday, but Monday referred to it as a "major development." The Israeli government has expressed cautious interest in the plan and Palestinians have enthusiastically embraced it.
Skeptics argue that Saudi Arabia just wants to shrink Israel back to its original size so that Arab nations will be in a better position to go back to their original goal of wiping out the Jewish state.
This hour, the Saudi peace plan: could this be the end of the Middle East conflict?
Dennis Ross, U.S. Special Middle East Coordinator under President Clinton
Denis Sullivan, Chair of the Department of Political Science at Northeastern University
Tony Karon, senior editor at Time.com
Gidi Grinstein, Former secretary of Israeli delegation for peace negotiations with Palestinians,1999-200
This program aired on February 26, 2002.