The Last Deal, or No Deal

If Camp David produces a halfway settlement, it will be a disaster

How will we know if the high-stakes, roll-of-the-dice Israeli-Palestinian summit called by President Clinton has succeeded? There is only one criterion for success: finality. Whatever document emerges, it must contain words like these: "The parties agree that the century-old conflict between the Jews and Arabs of Palestine is over."

That one declaration would be of far greater import than any of the parameters of any settlement. On finality hinges everything.

No more punting, no more blurring. Deferring has been the norm for the past seven years. And after seven years, the region is on the verge of a violent eruption. Both...

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