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Peace Was Not at Hand

Author: Elliott Abrams, Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies
May 24, 2012
Weekly Standard

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The belief that an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement is inches away or perhaps only one long negotiating session away never dies. Not even 64 years after the birth of the state of Israel and 45 years after Israel's conquest of Sinai, Gaza, the West Bank, and Jerusalem in 1967.

This delusion is fed by leaders who have reasons for propagating it, and the latest is former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert. Driven from office by a combination of Israeli disappointment with the results of the 2006 war in Lebanon, over which he presided, and corruption accusations (but no convictions in any of the cases yet), Olmert is trying to defend his reputation. In an interview with the Israeli newspaper Ma'ariv this month he expanded on some previous claims, and his words were widely discussed. (See for example here and here.)

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