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How Any "has-been" Politician Can Get A Headline

This headline in Reuters. And the politician is Tony Blair, who now has to content himself, poor man, with being the "special emissary" of the wholly irrelevant Quartet in the negotiations among Israel, the Palestinians, and whichever Arabs want to play. His pre-condition to the Netanyahu government is that it better get serious about Jerusalem.

The German foreign minister is not exactly a has-been so much as a wannabe. He is Frank-Walter Steinmeier, a Social Democrat in Christian Democratic prime minister Angela Merkel's coalition government, uttering incendiary words about the Israeli foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, that she would never utter. This follows in the footsteps of Bernard Kouchner, the socialist foreign minister of France in a conservative government, who simply did not hold the usual press conference that would customarily be held with a visiting foreign minister.

And then the two American special visitors (one an old friend) to Damascus have also gotten into the speaking habit, saying that the U.S. is committed to a "Syrian-Israeli peace deal." We know what the expectations are of Israel. But has anybody got the faintest idea what to expect from Syria?

Soon we will hear from the European Union, which speaks out almost weekly on what it demands from Israel.

I believe that Bibi Netanyahu and Michael Oren are working on a significant package of reciprocal steps that the principals will have to take to get anything going. Why don't the loud-mouths just wait a few days until Bibi arrives in town?