When Middle East adversaries meet in Annapolis this week, will it be a peace conference, or rather a conference that ends all peace? Nearly 60 years since the outbreak of the Arab-Israeli conflict, that may well be the stark choice that awaits the conference’s participants.
Doomsday predictions, of course, have long been a staple of Middle East commentary. Every negotiation seems to be the “last chance” for peace. Every crisis seems to threaten the outbreak of a major war, if not the great apocalypse. But there’s reason to pay attention to the warnings this time. The 1979 Camp David peace treaty between Egypt and Israel planted the seed for resolving the core of the conflict: the creation of an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Arab territories seized by Israel in the 1967 war. But if the Annapolis conference fails to provide urgently needed nourishment, the two-state solution and its hope of peace may die forever.
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