In a few hours time, President Obama will be hosting a banquet at the White House, to kick off the latest round of Middle East peace talks. It does sound a bit like a boxing match: ding-ding, seconds out, round one – start negotiating.
Not many people are paying attention, other than those who make a good living from following the peace process. (If there ever actually is peace, these people will be as disorientated as Kremlin-watchers, after the collapse of the Soviet Union.) A degree of distraction and cynicism is understandable. The big Middle Eastern news that President Obama is keen to highlight at the moment is the “withdrawal” from Iraq. Others at the dinner will have their own pre-occupations. Tony Blair, for example, has a book to promote. Read more