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A partial mea culpa on my carpe diem rant yesterday. Colin Powell did use the crucial phrase “viable” about a Palestinian state. And he was more forceful than the US has been recently on condemning Israeli settlements on Palestinian land.

So the tone was good. What’s crucial now is that the administration is seen to deliver on its commitment to “push and prod” both sides to a lasting peace settlement.

Quiz question  

I turned to Tom Friedman today expecting an analysis of Colin Powell’s speech. Instead, he asked an unexpectedly difficult quiz question: name the second largest Muslim community in the world.

Not only is Tom’s answer surprising, I suspect, for most people, but his conclusions are bang on target.

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