In the Middle East, whispers of breaking the mould — and the dangers that poses


National Post, 14 February 2017

A great many things get broken in the Middle East. Many fewer get put back together

All eyes here are on Washington, where on Wednesday President Donald Trump will welcome Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the White House. No one knows what will emerge from that meeting, and while Netanyahu took no joy from meeting Barack Obama, he at least knew what to prepare for. Preparing to meet Trump is an unpredictable venture.

Unpredictability is precisely the order of the day. The predictable future is no longer so predictable here. 

I have been coming to Israel regularly for more than 10 years, and on this visit I am hearing for the first time people discussing openly that that two-state solution is dead, or that its time is past, or that it needs to be revived, or that it should be rejected. Apparently no one thinks it likely. Such views are not new, but the public rhetoric at least honoured the two-state consensus, which has been the basis of global Israeli-Palestinian policy for the nearly 25 years since the Oslo Accords.

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