Who is the most distrusted and despised Israeli politician in the Arab world? The answer is not to be found among the usual suspects -- current and former Likud prime ministers Ariel Sharon and Binyamin Netanyahu. Rather, it is the dove incarnate: Shimon Peres.
When Israeli voters go to the polls next week to elect a prime minister, Ehud Barak will be consigned to political history, and Ariel Sharon will move into the newly vacated post.
The acid test for Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat came last week when he made his fateful visit to the White House to discuss Bill Clinton's framework agreement -- a roadmap designed to set the parameters for negotiating the tough issues that separate Israel and the Palestinians. Arafat failed the test.