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Chasing Unicorns in the Middle East

Al Gore and the Greens aren’t the only international crusaders chasing after an elusive, pie in the sky Grand Global Treaty.

In the Middle East, another horde of diplomats, pundits, and politicians endlessly predicts an imminent Israeli-Palestinian peace treaty. Some of those who have worked on or observed this notoriously insoluble issue closely know better. Things aren’t getting any easier.

Long-time negotiator Aaron David Miller — who last year renounced the “false religion of Mideast peace” — notes that a deteriorated negotiating environment, made worse by the Obama administrations diplomatic missteps,  have for the moment made any long-term Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement a non-starter. Last week, Gideon Rachman added that the Arab Spring has made the prospects for a deal even more remote.

Combine these issues with the weakness of both the Israeli and the Palestinian center and an intractable refugee problem, and a lasting agreement seems a long way off, despite decades of breathless predictions to the contrary.

Peace is not at hand.

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