So it's all the fault of the Palestinians. They just need to roll over and beg forgiveness from their Israeli masters and then Israel may just grant them a little piece of land on which to pitch their tent. I have never read a more patronising article on the conflict. Avineri states "If an Olmert-Livni government could not reach an agreement with Abbas after almost two years of serious and responsible discussions, clearly an agreement is not to be expected with the Netanyahu government." The implication here is again that the fault lies with the Palestinians whereas we know from the "Palestinian Papers" that Abbas had agreed to virtually everything (to the point where he lost all credibility with his own people) and still it was not enough for the Israeli government. The Palestinian rejection of the quartet's call is highlighted without any hint that the only reason Netanyahu jumped at the proposal was that he new it was impossible for the Palestinians to accept. There is no talk here of Israel's responsibility for the failure of negotiations. No suggestion that maybe Netanyahu should make a 'Anwar Sadat style' speech and while Avineri admits that the settlements are a 'political and moral mistake' there is no acknowledgment that freezing the construction would be a major factor in bringing the parties together. Avineri's solution to all these intractable problems? Well surprise surprise it's the Netanyahu solution - "interim agreements; confidence-building measures; unilateral (but mutually acceptable ) steps; and continued pragmatic cooperation on the ground. Assisting both peoples to emerge, very slowly over time, from the harsh grip of the conflict." And when all these measures are complete how much land will be left on which to create the Palestinian state?
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Bahrain says ready to commit ground forces to Syria (Reuters)
from the article: No realistic chance of permanent Middle East peace