In the West, policymakers traditionally have not viewed such multi-government bodies in the region to be particularly helpful. But this year, there are grounds for hope that the Al-Quds Committee will make a meaningful contribution to peace efforts in the Holy Land.
For me, Ariel Sharon was a leader's leader who demonstrated the vision, courage and commitment to what he believed in -- qualities that are sorely lacking on the global stage today and especially in the Middle East.
Kerry has surprised many observers with his tenacity and insistence on producing a peace agreement in this intractable conflict. The framework idea could move the process forward as long as it is not allowed to become yet another interim agreement.
Arabs and Jews have lived together for thousands of years. Our languages have cross-pollinated and we have developed a united mythology and set of traditions.This was all on display with the West-Coast premiere of Poems and Prayers, my third symphony.
Some readers made disparaging remarks about the Palestinian leader -- the kindest of which was to point out the obvious fact that "Arafat was no Mandela." While that statement was, of course, true, it missed the point.
It's more than a month now that most Gazans have had no or little electricity to pump clean drinking water into their homes, do the family laundry, heat their homes as the cold of winter sets in. What's sad about this fact is it is not the first time.
More than ever, Israel is isolated from world opinion and the squishy entity known as "the international community." The Israeli government keeps condemning the Iran nuclear deal, by any rational standard a positive step away from the threat of catastrophic war.
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.
Israel's fixation on "security" and the harsh measures it employs, presumably to achieve an impregnable national security condition, is making the Palestinians increasingly vulnerable, fostering deeper animosity and militant resistance.
The absorption of the Jewish refugees into Israeli society should be held up as a model for the assimilation of Palestinian refugees in their host countries. The Jews are no longer refugees, Israel having granted them full civil rights.