When US Tomahawk missiles and fighter jets began their bombardment of Syria, it felt strange. Foreigners bombing a sovereign Arab country without the approval of its leadership produced few signs of public discontent.
And, for the first time in decades, a war is taking place in the Middle East without the issue of Palestine having any relevance.
In previous wars, Palestine was always present. When George Bush Sr. led a coalition against Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait, the Iraqi leader attacked Israel with Scud missiles.
When his son invaded Iraq, the US and UK made verbal promises about the need to solve the Palestinian problem, and tried to follow it with diplomacy.
In the first instance, the US’ persistent effort produced the Madrid Conference and later the Oslo Accords.