Though prospects for a Palestinian-Israeli settlement and a broader peace in the Middle East are seemingly brighter since the cease fire in the Gulf War, old obstacles remain and new ones have been added. The diplomatic history of the Middle East during the past nearly quarter century reveals that a half-dozen U.S. administrations had consistently stood in opposition to a settlement supported by an international consensus—one that would terminate Israeli occupation and usher in Palestinian independence. During the same period, Israel managed to reject every single United States proposal involving a territorial dimension, even when such proposals excluded Palestinian sovereignty. The Palestinians have thus been denied a national existence and a sovereign order.



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