One Baby Step Forward

In the Middle East talks, even political gestures can bring halting progress

THE SYRIANS PHYSICALLY ACCEPTED A DOCUMENT from the Israelis for the first time, and the Palestinians declined to say no, exactly, to an Israeli election proposal in the occupied territories. It didn't seem like much of an achievement for the sixth round of Middle East peace talks, held last week in Washington, but by the standards of those labored negotiations, one had to call it progress.

Israel's plan would allow Palestinians to choose new councils for their municipalities, which are now run either by Israeli-appointed locals or by officials who were last elected in 1976. But the Palestine Liberation Organization said...

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