A Saudi Protectorate for the Palestinians

From Hosni Mubarak to Ariel Sharon, Middle East leaders are trekking to Washington to discuss restarting the peace process. President Bush talks of a Palestinian state and of reforming the Palestinian authority, but (so far) offers no road map to achieving either. Here Shlomo Avineri, once Director-General of Israel's Foreign Ministry, proposes an innovative approach to reach both goals.

Two conflicting needs assail the Middle East. The Palestinians must rebuild political structures almost completely destroyed by Israel's recent incursions into the West Bank. Yet it is also clear that the Palestinians are unable to create a polity untainted by terrorism and free of an ideology that violently repudiates Israel's right to exist.