Window Of Opportunity
When British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw visited Ramallah last week to leave a wreath at Yasser Arafat's grave, many observers expected the government of Ariel Sharon to protest. But Israeli officials were resigned. "We snubbed officials who went to talk to Arafat when he was alive," sighed one. "We can't very well do that to those who want to talk to him when he's dead."

That tempered response reflects a new mood of conciliation. With Palestinians preparing to vote on Jan. 9 for a new President, Israel last week signaled that...

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