You certainly put you finger on it, Sam. For the past 30 years I've heard from just about every politically knowledgeable friend of the Palestinians the world over that the main problem to be solved is the US, and the source of this problem is Congress, US domestic politics and the hold of a number of special interest groups. Not only the "Israel lobby". Unfortunately, this also translates into a toxic cocktail of badly distorted, or simply bad, US foreign policy and underlying doctrine (formulations of interests and ambitions and strategies that do not serve the national interest of the American people). It also translates into bad execution of valid elements of US foreign policy and doctrine. Anyone entering the system who thinks out of step with this special interest manufactured consensus, even a president, soon discovers their own incapacity to promote a more reasonable and more just course that would be better for Americans as well as better for this entire region and its people. While the US retains its position of effective dominance (which the US is understandably intent to retain), nobody can begin to fix this as long as Palestinians, along with their Israeli and American friends can't or won't begin to fix this themselves. The problem there is not just one of too little action, but too little well-conceived (meaning effective) action, and too much ill-conceived action. The best way for any bully to get away with continuing to beat up on his victim is to bait his victim and the victim's still comparatively weak assortment of friends into fighting back on the bully's rules. But there's hope. We're all getting bit by bit smarter. And our assortment of friends is growing. But the other side also realises this .... To paraphrase the old slogan used in NYC subways undergoing repair, "Bait we must, and take we must, for a growing Israel" remains the attitude expressed to Palestinians by too many Israelis, especially the Land of Israel crowd, soldiers in the occupied territories and recent IDF graduates. I hope we can manage to see this clinically as a particularly virulent socio-pathology. Others must be protected and must protect themselves, while sparing no efforts to cure and thus save the patient. But the patient must also be willing to cooperate.
Afghanistan examining claim Taliban leader Mullah Omar died (AP)