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In August last year, in a Prospect article entitled “Failure is the most likely outcome,” I set out 10 rules that mean there might never be a happy ending to the Israeli-Palestinian, and therefore the Arab-Israeli, conflict. I also said that I hoped I was wrong, and so I welcome the efforts of John Kerry, the American Secretary of State, to demonstrate that peace still has a chance.

By all accounts Kerry entirely understands the strategic importance of this issue; is fully committed to tackling it; has the backing of Barack…

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