To reach the Israeli settlement of Ma'ale Adumim, you drive due east on a new highway built through the Israeli-occupied West Bank, ignoring, if you can, the occasional Palestinian refugee camp in the distance.
Palestinians recognize the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks for what they are: the mopping-up process following a power struggle that Israel won. The spoils of victory are evident in the satellite photographs Jad Isaac recently projected for a group of visiting journalists.
For two November days, pilgrims were turned away from major Christian shrines throughout Palestine-Israel. Church doors were closed to protest Israel's decision to allow construction of a mosque next to the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth.
There will be no Christmas celebration in Bethlehem’s Manger Square this year. The annual festivities have been canceled because the organizers have deemed it inappropriate to celebrate in the midst of the conflicts and violence.
When Vice President Al Gore picked Joseph Lieberman as his running mate, it was the first-ever selection for a national ticket of a Jewish nominee—and a practicing Orthodox Jew at that. Though in decades past the decision might have been viewed as highly risky, choosing Lieberman was seen quickly as a “plus” for the Democrats.
When Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered Yasir Arafat new borders for a future Palestinian state, he couldn’t show them on a map. There is no such map. But the Palestinians know what Barak offered at Camp David and they didn’t like it then and they don’t like it now.
According to the consensus among American commentators, reflecting the views of the administration and Congress, a peace process that was on the verge of a breakthrough a few months ago has broken down because of the Palestinians’ intransigence.
Middle East summits come and go with one repeated mantra: bring an end to the violence. That plea is always interpreted as a demand for both sides to stop shooting at each other and settle down long enough for their leaders to hammer out an agreement that will end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It won’t happen, of course.