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Too little, too late

"It seems that political leaders in Israel always reach this conclusion only when they themselves are no longer in a position to make this decision."

This prescient statement was posed to Israel's outgoing prime minister Ehud Omert, in a recent interview that has been published in The New York Review of Books. It referred to his belated acceptance that the Golan Heights need to be given back to the Syrians and that a future Palestinian state needs to also include parts of Jerusalem.

Ehud Omert is a man who has done little to advance peace in the Middle East. Indeed, it was his ill conceived invasion of Lebanon in 2006 that threatened all out war. And his premiership has served only to exacerbate relations with the Palestinians, as this article shows. Yet his journey as leader is ending in much the same fashion as many of his predecessors - realising the patently obvious.

As Bill Clinton said in 2001 upon leaving the White House, torn up Middle East plan in hand: "Someday there will have to be a final deal and it will look identical to the one that I proposed." Will there be an Israeli leader who is willing to grasp the nettle?

Great expectations

Sometimes it is right to fight