Peter Rodgers is a former Australian ambassador to Israel and author of the incisive book, Herzl’s Nightmare. Unlike much of the international media, keen to salivate over Ariel Sharon and his “peace process”, Rodgers rightly issues caution:
“And what of Sharon’s political makeover? Has he really accepted that Israel’s best chance for future security lies in the creation of a viable Palestinian state? He won international praise for his mid-2005 withdrawal of Israeli settlers from Gaza. Not surprisingly, this move was portrayed as a painful concession by Israel to the Palestinians.
“In reality the winner was Israel itself, which continues to exercise a veto over everyday Gazan life without having to risk too many Israeli lives.”
The Palestinians have their own problems, too. Internal division, Hamas as a political force and the ongoing occupation.