Qatar's latest investment in Israeli Palestinian soccer comes against a backdrop of a war of words between the two countries over the Gulf state's support for Hamas, the Islamist militia that controls the war-wracked Gaza Strip.
But more importantly it highlights a growing realization that Hamas is emerging politically strengthened from the death and destruction in Gaza while Israel is fighting a rear guard battle to turn military success into political victory.
The besieged Jews of the Warsaw ghetto had a motto "to live and die in dignity." As I sit in my own besieged ghetto, I think how Palestinians have honored this universal value. We live in dignity and we die in dignity, refusing to accept subjugation.
Wars, as we know, are catalysts for change, and the current round of fighting between Hamas and Israel is no exception. Two trends, which have become very noticeable in the region in recent years, are being accelerated.
Israel relies on their ability to dominate and shape media messages and images to the same extent that they depend on their military to win battles. And because the Israelis have cultivated all too compliant partners in the press and in politics, their narrative of events often trumps reality.
In death, Staff Sergeant Nissim Sean Carmeli embodies the deep fears, distrust and dehumanization of the other that has exploded into massive bloodshed in Gaza, threatens to spark another uprising on the West Bank, and makes achievement of even a temporary Israeli-Palestinian ceasefire an almost impossible task.
Israel hopes to weaken and demilitarize Hamas but not totally eradicate it because that could open the door to more militant Islamist groups taking control of Gaza.
Right now, the world is full of Christians and Muslims who'd like nothing more than to see God's promises come to pass. But honestly? I'm afraid more and more of us are giving up, and starting to wonder if you're really ever going to be the Israel God intends.
The potential for religious war was transformed by the advent of monotheism, the belief that there is only One Almighty God that characterizes the three Abrahamic faiths: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
A Greater Israel cannot be anything but an apartheid state, and exclusionary ethnic nationalism of this sort is not sustainable in the 21st century. Israel's Arab subjects will eventually demand equal rights, and as former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert warned back in 2007, once that happens, "the state of Israel is finished."
If one doesn't have the facts, the cagey and deceptive news media can persuade one to false conclusions: they make it sound as if two equal military adversaries are exchanging fire: the reality and devastation on the ground in Gaza dispels all such dubious insinuations.
A small group of terrorists, maybe 5,000 or 7,000 against a country of more than 6 million people, have dug and built another city 30 to 40 meters underground, and they have tunnels reaching, if not already penetrating, into Israeli land. These people keep on sending rockets against us. For Israel to fight against them on the ground means a battle from house to house, and it will be a brutal combat -- and that becomes a real problem. If we want to solve the problem, it means that we have to be very cruel, and this is not morally easy to do. Many people can die on both sides.
An important precedent was set yesterday; the largest Arab country all but giving its blessing to an Israeli military strike against other Arabs. A change of major proportions which is a new element in Middle East politics.
There will be no peace, for now, as Gaza is turned into an abattoir, to collectively punish Gazans for supporting Hamas. Israel, as any nation, has a right to defend itself, but it confuses offense with defense. It is on the offensive in Gaza.
My Twitter feed has been raging with information and disinformation today, but underneath the diatribes I have been struck by a sense of despair and disbelief that the world can unravel this fast, and anger at our sense of impotence.
Headlines in the mainstream media falsely portray an equivalence of firepower between Israelis and Palestinians in Gaza. But Israel's use of force greatly exceeds that of the Palestinians, and the asymmetric warfare continues to escalate.