PROPHECY IN the Middle East is for the foolhardy or, to quote the Talmud, for fools. Nevertheless, it is reasonable to pronounce US Secretary of State John Kerry’s “last chance” peace initiative clinically dead, even if he manages to talk the parties into a life support arrangement for another few months. After Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas ruled out recognition of Israel as a Jewish State and refused to waive the right of return for Palestinian refugees, even a far more dovish Israeli government could not conscionably claim that a grand bargain is on offer.

Indeed, Israel’s “peace camp” fell back on its hackneyed “interim accord” stopgap.

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