With the Gaza cease-fire talks in Egypt stalled again, efforts have shifted to the United Nations and a possible Security Council resolution. France, Germany and Britain have circulated elements of such a resolution with the critical support of the United States.
I don't know about you, but I have been deeply troubled by what seems to be an unraveling of the world around us in so many different hot spots.
Just to name a few:
1. The escalation of violence in Ukraine, including the shooting down of a passenger airline with the loss of all passengers on board
2. The continuing loss of life and violence in Gaza and Israel
Humanitarians and the people of the Gaza Strip are apprehensive about whether there will be a renewal of the truce between Israel and the militant Hamas, said a U.S. Catholic aid official.
"There's a lot of hope that the airstrikes and rockets will not start again after Tuesday midnight because of such a traumatic, terrible month," said Matthew McGarry, who directs the Catholic Relief Services' operations in Gaza, the West Bank and Jerusalem.
After months of worsening tensions, the US-Israeli diplomatic relationship has reached new lows, The Times of Israel is reporting this morning.
We say: The first step in breaking this cycle of violence is for the parties to accept the other's right to exist peacefully in states of their own.
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After nearly four weeks of fighting between Israel and the Palestinian militant Hamas, the expectation that things will get better has been consistently disappointed.
"No protected person may be punished for an offence he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited." -- Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War
The head of a Michigan-based tour company that leads trips to the Holy Land said the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas so far has not had an impact on pilgrimages he and his associates lead.
"Everything is still functioning like in any other normal business day. The sector of tourism industry to the Holy Land is not affected," said Steve Ray, a tour guide and CEO of Footprints of God in Ann Arbor.
My partner in this series of sociopolitical blog posts is Ra'fat Aldajani, a Palestinian-American who represents the majority Palestinian view. I sat with Ra'fat to probe his views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. -- Drew Christiansen
Christiansen: Tell me a little more about your family and Palestinian identity.