Sunday, February 06, 2005


Geneva, December 2003? Saudi plan, March 2002?

If these places and dates mean nothing to you, then it's a fair bet that the phrase "first signs of peace for years" or some equivalant, sprinkled liberally over reports of Condoleeza Rice's Israeli photo shoot, does not jar. They happen to be the latest, most high-profile incarnations of a particular type of settlement between the Israelis and Palestinians--Israeli withdrawal, some form of Palestinian sovereignty, genuinely international mediation--that has scarcely changed in essentials since the mid 70s. Except that, because the US and Israel have opposed this settlement, it has always failed and the fact that anyone ever proposed it is lost to history. If you can spare a few minutes rummaging through the memory hole of leftwing and Arab media websites, I'm sure you'll find plenty more. Indeed, I should like you to do so right now, then come back and tell me exactly how the death blow to each of these schemes was administered.


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