I don't mean to put words into Philip Stephens' mouth or, rather, onto his laptop. But, in a Financial Times message this morning to Barack Obama about the latter's message to the Europeans, Stephens covers the universe: Not only Europe (and Germany, in particular) but Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and China.

What he does not mention at all is Israel and the Palestinians. This is usually at the top of everyone's agenda  But that position distorts world reality. There is no reason to docket a problem for which there isn't any solution. The victory of Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza makes a settlement all but unthinkable. Alas, the Palestinians will have to wait ... and wait a very long time. There is some consolation, however: No one else really cares about the Palestinians, and certainly not the sensible Arabs.