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Editorial: Pretence of progress

Bronwen Maddox introduces the August issue

There is a temptation common to foreign correspondents immersed in a region of agonised turmoil: to believe that they are witnessing events that, even in the bloodiest way, represent some kind of progress. Tom Phillips does not suffer from that affliction. He retired in July after two years as British ambassador to Saudi Arabia and, previously, four years as ambassador to Israel. His conclusion is that there may never be peace between Israel and Palestinians. Neither side has leaders capable of making a deal; the window for a “two-state solution” may already have closed, because of Israeli settlement building on…

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