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Israel's diplomatic future in Kahlon's hands

When considering whether to join a Netanyahu-led coalition, Kulanu head Moshe Kahlon must bear in mind his party's political platform, which calls for advancing an arrangement with the Palestinians.
Moshe Kahlon (C), head of the new centrist party Kulanu (All of Us), addresses supporters at party headquarters in Tel Aviv March 18, 2015.  Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed victory in Israel's election on Tuesday after exit polls showed he had erased his center-left rivals' lead with a hard rightward shift that saw him disavow a commitment to negotiate a Palestinian state. A new centrist party led by former communications minister Kahlon could be the kingmaker in coalition talks.  REUTERS/Stringer
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In mid-March, I was in the office of a high-ranking European official who is well versed in Middle East affairs. I told him about creative ideas to promote a peace arrangement and security models that had been entertained that day between representatives from Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Jordan, Israel, Europe and the United States.

Having listened patiently, the official, who asked not to be named, then asked me not to take umbrage at what he was about to say. He started a monologue the essence of which follows: “The armchair you’re sitting in has seen in recent years countless experts, peace activists and Israel’s well-wishers. They each had good intentions and fascinating plans — music to one’s ear. But, my dear friend, I’m sorry to tell you that you — how shall I put it — are a tad out of touch with reality. I have news for you: The Islamic State [IS] isn’t just in Gaza. It has started infiltrating [the West Bank city of] Jenin, too.”

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