From Opportunity to Reality in the Middle East

It has been a long time since the words “opportunity” and “Middle East” appeared in the same sentence. But now they are. Even better, this optimism may have some basis in reality.

One important reason for this change in attitude is, of course, Yasir Arafat’s disappearance from the scene. Like the Thane of Cawdor in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, “Nothing in his life became him like the leaving it.”

Arafat never grew beyond the man who appeared at the United Nations decades ago with both an olive branch and a gun. His unwillingness to jettison terror and choose diplomacy proved his undoing, as he lost legitimacy in the eyes of both Israel and the United States. The result was the failure to create a Palestinian state.

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