Israel and the US on the wrong side of history

The question for Israel and its friends to address the risks of recognition of a Palestinian state, and to calibrate their reaction accordingly.

Shortly before Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination by a right-wing Jewish extremist in November 1995, I met him in Tel Aviv. I was visiting Israel as Australia’s foreign minister to argue the case for rapid implementation of the Oslo peace accords – all the way through to negotiated acceptance of Palestinian statehood. I concluded my pitch by saying, with perhaps a little more cheek than was appropriate: “But of course I’m preaching to the converted.” Rabin’s response is etched in my memory. He paused, then said with a little half-smile: “To the committed, not the converted.”

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