When Jews and Muslims in countries around the world embrace our commonalities, and resolve to come together, it accrues to the benefit of both faith communities.
This conviction is what spurred me, as an Egyptian, to climb down from the ivory tower of the outside spectator and to engage directly with Palestinians and Israelis, despite the mainstream hostility towards such encounters in the Arab world and Israel alike.
Two weeks ago, a double suicide bombing outside the Iranian Embassy in Beirut killed 23 people and injured 147. This recent development shows the misery of Lebanon, which has continued for more than 50 years, enters a new and dangerous phase.
Despite the grim picture facing Secretary Kerry, he still has options to make the negotiations a success. Iran's nuclear deal proves that the international community is capable of working collaboratively to produce an agreement and avoid violence and isolation.
The claim by those in Israel and in the American Jewish community that President Obama has "thrown Israel under the bus" in entering the interim deal with Iran just doesn't stand up to scrutiny.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants negotiations with the Palestinians to continue for decades to come. But the Palestinian leadership would be foolish to go along with this charade.
Netanyahu has always liked to think of himself as a daring leader a la Churchill. He is about to find out that it takes more than cigars and grand rhetoric to actually become a great leader.
A realignment of Middle East politics? That remains to be seen, but it is more likely than before with the signing of the agreement, and one with potential effects that could go beyond the immediate Iranian connection.
A nuclear accord with Teheran would help secure Israel. An accord with Iran might drive the Saudis and others in the Gulf to reconsider the peace process and their willingness to stake an Israeli-Palestinian settlement.
Aside from Netanyahu's lack of credibility on any Iran deal, or the dubious value of scuttling an agreement that promises to verifiably prevent any nuclear weapons, no amount of lobbying by Israel will significantly alter the outlines of the accord.
Did you hear the one about Obama and Kerry in a Middle East casino? They start off with lots of chips. They're playing craps, making a couple of large bets which they lose. So they take their remaining chips and head to the blackjack table.
The anti-war, give diplomacy a chance caucus can not wait until the warm days of spring to put on their marching boots. By then, Congress could have doubled down on sanctions on Iran, the nuclear peace talks wrecked by the hardliners in Tehran and Washington, D.C.
The Israelis and the Palestinians view the settlements enterprise from a completely different perspective that defines their strategic objectives and is becoming increasingly irreconcilable every time Israel announces the building of new housing units.
As Jews and human beings we must fight bigotry, racism and the violation of human rights wherever it is found. But we must never fight anti-Semitism by making use of the very trait that we are combating: bigotry.
It's been over 15 years since PM Netanyahu's speech to a joint session of Congress stating Israel's goal of economic independence. In 1997, Israel received $3.1 billion in aid from the U.S. In 2012, Israel was still receiving $3.1 billion annually in U.S. aid.
With the Iranian situation in the background, we have another reason for pessimism, some will say realism, about the Israeli-Palestinian talks. They go on, but where to?