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The end of the tunnel

Josef Joffe looks back on the latest twist in the middle east process and wonders whether Israelis and Palestinians can learn the lessons of the past 50 years

By Josef Joffe   November 1996

Take a puddle of petrol. Add more. Then hand a burning match to a reformed pyromaniac. This is the three sentence story of Benjamin Netanyahu, Yasir Arafat and the Three Day War between Israelis and Palestinians that exploded the myth of a relentless “middle east peace process.”

The puddle started spreading last March when the “martyrs” of Hamas massacred 56 Israelis on their own land, in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. As a result, Netanyahu was elected prime minister in May, whereupon he began to pour on petrol by stopping the peace process. No, the Likud premier did not actually tear…

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