It is not yet clear whether the Russian plan is the end of the beginning or the beginning of the end of chemical weapons in Syria, but one way or the other, mass murder by chemical weapons, a crime against humanity, must not be tolerated.
I wrote my string quartet, The Named Angels, against the current backdrop of unrest in the Middle East. Each of the four movements of the quartet portrays of one of the four angels shared by the Jewish, Christian and Islamic faiths.
I am a Palestinian-American with big ideas; dreams so big, they consist of becoming the next Hillary Clinton, Madeline Albright, or Condoleezza Rice. But I sometimes see a red sign in front of me that reads: STOP.
Today is Eid al-Fitr, the festival marking the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. As with Lent in Christianity and Yom Kippur in Judaism, this fasting creates space for reflection, humility and compassion. Current events in many Muslim countries give cause for all three.
Nobody would deny that the obstacles are formidable and nobody ever got rich betting on the prospects of Israeli-Palestinian peace. But some of the underlying conditions have changed, creating a spark of hope that this time could be different.
The shock of our 22 staff in Gaza is hard to express. Their family members are stuck in Cairo as they transit from other countries to re-enter Gaza. Students on summer break were trying to get home to see their families after a year of studies.
With that in mind, we can see that there is some incentive for both sides to open talks, a welcome development by all accounts, but the process requires much more than that in order to come to a successful conclusion. The set of circumstances which will make it possible is still not around.
The passion and emotions of the jubilation made me wonder, "This is just a reality TV-show. Isn't it?" It sure is. But, of late, victory for Gazans has been of a morbid nature. Often steeped in the mentality of resistance, it has been synonymous with survival.
A detailed offer from Secretary Kerry now will compel the Israeli public to decide whether or not they want an agreement with the Palestinians, a clear choice they have not been given since May 1992, when Yitzhak Rabin ran against Likud leader Yitzhak Shamir.
As Secretary John Kerry returns to the Middle East for another round of shuttle diplomacy and meets with President Abbas, current realities on the ground and recent events seem to suggest that talks will center on a greater Jordanian involvement in Palestinian affairs.
The fifth Israeli Presidential Conference, the brainchild of President Shimon Peres, drew more than the usual crowd of academics, entrepreneurs, government officials, and foreign dignitaries this year.
One of the unexpected results of last January's Israeli election was the emergence of 47 new members of parliament, 13 of them under the age of 40, who have taken their places among the 120 Knesset members.