Mona Charen

Whether this economic boomlet will actually promote peace remains to be seen. Suicide bombers have been thwarted by a combination of the security fence Israel mostly completed in 2006 (for which it was widely reviled by international organizations and governments), and pinpoint targeting of would-be terrorists during nighttime raids into the West Bank. In this, Israel receives cooperation from the PA.

"We tell them where they (the terrorists) are, and they arrest them," explains Leibovich. "This never happened in the past."

And yet, as the Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman very undiplomatically blurted last week, the Palestinian Authority government is "illegitimate" since it does not conduct elections. In a direct contradiction of the Netanyahu government's position, Lieberman declared, "Even if we offer the Palestinians Tel Aviv and a retreat to 1947 borders, they will find a reason not to sign a peace agreement with us ... We cannot make peace with them."

There is quiet on the streets on Israel and the West Bank. Business is pretty good. But the fundamentals remain: Even the "moderate" PA President Mahmoud Abbas refuses (he did so again in November) to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Hamas, dug in securely in Gaza, accumulates more accurate and longer-range missiles from Iran. And Hezbollah is part of the government in Lebanon.

Those reporters waiting for conflict to report will probably not be disappointed much longer.

Mona Charen

Mona Charen is a syndicated columnist, political analyst and author of Do-Gooders: How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help .
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