Michael Oren offers insights on the rising tension and continuing hope:
Rarely have the lines in the Middle East’s sands been drawn so distinctly. Arrayed on one side is the peace-seeking camp that opposes militant extremism and favors direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians. On the other are the organizations, many of them surrogates for Iran, that work to undermine moderate governments and violently impede any effort for peace.
Recent events have revealed the dimensions of this divide. On the same day last month that the Arab League authorized Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to move from proximity talks to direct negotiations with the Israeli government, Hamas terrorists in Gaza fired a Grad rocket at the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon. This week, as the Obama administration joined with Egyptian and Jordanian leaders in urging Abbas to act on the Arab League’s instruction, terrorists launched rockets from Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula into Jordan and Israel.