Twenty-five years ago this month, Yitzhak Rabin, the then prime minister of Israel, and Yasser Arafat, chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, shook hands on the White House lawn in front of a beaming President Bill Clinton. In an ephemeral triumph of hope over history, they agreed on the Oslo Declaration of Principles, a framework that painted a noble dream of two states, Israeli and Palestinian, sharing the Holy Land as partners in a Middle East finally enabled to emerge from a crippling pathology of conflict.
It was not to be. The agreements that flowed from Oslo are moribund. The Middle East peace process long ago dissolved into a tortured charade of pure process, mismanaged by a dishonest broker, the United States, which favoured the overwhelmingly stronger party.