Loosening The Knot

Israelis and Palestinians make strides toward neighborliness

EVEN BEFORE SETTING OUT FOR THE LATEST ROUND of Middle East peace talks in Washington, Palestinian delegates knew they had to get something -- anything -- for their efforts so they could justify their attendance in the face of widespread popular disapproval. The Israelis knew it too. As a consequence, the current session has been the most productive one yet, so much so that Palestine Liberation Organization official Nabil Shaath predicts that a "declaration of agreement on principles" may soon emerge.

Largely responsible for the improved atmosphere is Israel's newly relaxed posture. The Rabin government is offering to transfer to the...

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