Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert came out strongly in support of Palestine being given "observer state" status at the UN tomorrow.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is losing support at home as Hamas' star rises. While he's trying to regain relevance with a UN bid this week, the US and Israel are working against him.
Contrary to Hamas reports, Israel claims there is no ceasefire deal for the Gaza conflict. But US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is en route to Jerusalem, and an agreement appears to be in the making. Making it stick will require regional commitment.
Israel has dealt with Hamas through a policy of isolation and military containment. The recent escalation of violence in Gaza calls for a reconsideration of this strategy. Israel’s military response only offers a temporary palliative against a broader, inherently political problem.
For Hamas, a fear that capitulation will hurt their standing more than defiance. For Israel, it's a question of making good on public threats.
Leadership in the Middle East is up for grabs as the Syrian war intensifies, the Arab Spring changes regional power dynamics, and Israel's airstrikes and Hamas rockets again roil Gaza. Last year, Turkey was the assumed role model for the region. But it has fallen down on the job.
Israel assassinated a senior Hamas militant, Ahmed Jabari, today. How much further will the Gaza strikes go?