Should Israel and Hamas achieve their stated objectives, the relationship between Israel and the Palestinians, as a whole, will take a dramatically different turn, change the nature of the conflict, and substantially improve the prospect for peace. The question is: Will their political circumstances and the reality they face lead to such an outcome?
In his recent meeting with Obama, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that he was "committed to the vision of peace for two states for two peoples." That sounds nice. But if he'd been pressed, Netanyahu might have admitted that the two states he had in mind were Israel and the U.S., not Israel and Palestine.
The new ceasefire between Israel and Hamas has immediately raised the same old question: Will it last, or is it merely just another pause, providing the prelude for the next round of fighting à la previous ceasefires? I believe the current ceasefire is different as it was achieved under completely different circumstances and may well last.