The big prize - the one the prime minister was so keen to show off at his London conference yesterday - is progress in the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. After four years of stalemate and worse, the Palestinians are now led by a man who describes those who murder Israeli civilians as "terrorists" and who seems serious about putting the Palestinian house in order. Meanwhile, the Israelis are led by a man who, whatever his past, is now ready to risk his life to pull out of Palestinian land. The combination of Abu Mazen's embrace of the reform agenda demanded of him yesterday and Ariel Sharon's iron determination to pull out of Gaza - even in the face of a growing and credible threat of assassination - has made the prospects for their two peoples brighter than in years.Interestingly the Grauniad chose to picture the Middle East Conference by showing orange placards of those nice people, Hizb-ut Tahrir. Orange placards saying that "Only the Khalifah will liberate Palestine". Orange placards saying Abu Mazen is a "U.S. puppet". All helpful imagery. Thanks for that.
In today's Grauniad there's a letter from June Purvis
Jonathan Freedland has at last got the measure of Tony Blair. Too many opponents of the Iraq war were guided by their hatred of George Bush and all things capitalist rather than by any wish of the Iraqi people to end the brutalities they suffered under that monster Saddam Hussein. Always insistent about their right to protest in our democratic society, they ignored the plight of men and women in the Middle East struggling for their own right to be heard and to be represented in any governing body. I shall be voting Labour - and for Blair.Not so sure about "voting Labour", but that will be for other issues like Student Fees, PFI, corporatisation of government etc.