Israeli politics have undergone a transformation, driven by the recognition that holding the West Bank and Gaza is not in Israel's interest and that the Palestinian leadership is not ready for peace. The new consensus has induced Israel to withdraw unilaterally -- and brought a measure of hope to a seemingly hopeless situation.
Two Israeli studies of the polarizing Palestinian leader don't shed much light on their subject. But they do make clear why his time may be past.
Despite what many argue, Arab and Muslim rage at the United States has had very little to do with actual U.S. policies--policies that have been remarkably pro-Arab over the past 50 years. Promoting anti-Americanism is simply the best way Muslim leaders have found to distract their publics from the real problem: internal mismanagement. New U.S. policies or a PR campaign will not change matters.
Asserts that the Arab-Israeli dispute has dropped well down the list of priority concerns for most of the Arab world. Sets out the other and more important issues, the possibility of US contribution to which has brought the Arab-Israeli peace process towards "the most promising point in history".
The Reagan Administration reached some important conclusions about Middle East policy during its first term. In 1985, it tried to apply them. The framework for its diplomatic activism had been laid down in the September 1982 Reagan Plan, but to this were now added calculations on the difficulty of mediating an Arab-Israeli peace settlement, the need to await decisive action by the involved regional states, a skepticism about Arab eagerness for negotiations, and the belief that the United States must stand its ground until the proper opportunity for peace arrived.