Before the Camp David talks broke down yesterday, maybe the real point is that the Israeli, Palestinian and American chiefs got to depths and details they’d never approached before — with candor and concreteness about the final deal they couldn’t reach.
The cheerful possibility about the grim failure of all that head butting — President Clinton called it dentistry without novicaine — is that they have all now seen and smelled, virtually tasted, one multi-dimensional resolution of their conflict; and that having come so close they can’t but go back and build it.
In the meantime, however, the stubborn Yasir Arafat is a hero on the West Bank for rejecting the deal. Prime Minister Barak is a hero in President Clinton’s eyes for thinking “out of the box,” especially about shared sovereignty over Jerusalem, and still his coalition in Israel is in ruins. The peace process as we have known it for seven years is over.
(Hosted by Christopher Lydon)