There have been several positive recent developments.
First, Hillary Clinton in Doha for a regional Arab conference stated that “Israel is a sovereign country and it makes its own decisions,” Clinton pointed out that Israel has reasons to be cautious. “You often make decisions based on your own experience and history,” she said. “And when the Israelis pulled out of Lebanon they got Hezbollah and 40,000 rockets and when they pulled out of Gaza they got Hamas and 20,000 rockets.”
Also, she called on the Arab countries to enact economic and political reform … although the Tunisian uprising may not have been exactly what she had in mind.
Then, the US prevented a vote in the Security Council brought by Lebanon (doesn’t Beirut have a few of it’s own problems!) on declaring “all settlements illegal”. “Explaining her country’s opposition to the resolution, Deputy U.S. Representative to the UN Rosemary A. DiCarlo said that key Middle East peace issues “can be resolved only through negotiations between the parties — and not by recourse to the Security Council. We therefore consistently oppose attempts to take these issues to this council.”
.. and thirdly, in an Arab League summit the Secretary General of the Arab League warned that “the Arab soul is broken by poverty, unemployment and general recession.” What, it’s not all Israel’s fault!
.. so a few positive nods in 2011 towards reality.