Israel's New Pollyannas
Until recently, it was not difficult to define the main obstacle to a peace agreement between Arabs and Israelis: the very minimum the Syrians and Palestinians could accept exceeded the maximum Israel could give. In practical terms this meant that since Hafez al-Assad’s Syria could accept no less than what Anwar Sadat’s Egypt received—every inch of land lost to the Israelis in war—and since Israel could not afford to relinquish all this land (which would bring the border to within yards of the Sea of Galilee), an agreement with Syria was impossible.
Similarly, no Palestinian leader could accept anything less than total Israeli withdrawal to the 1949 armistice lines (usually described as the 1967 borders) and the establishment of a Palestinian state with the eastern half of Jerusalem as its capital, while no Israeli government could allow this to happen. Ergo, the prospects of a Palestinian-Israeli agreement were nonexistent.
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