In the Middle East, Tensions Really Don't Rise at Times Like This

The Wall Street Journal, eminent publication that it is, is misleading people with opening lines like this:

Rising tensions in the Mideast cast a shadow over the start of the first direct Israeli-Palestinian peace talks in nearly two years Wednesday, and leaders at the Washington summit vowed to press on with negotiations.

“Rising tensions” imply an emotional reaction.  What we’re seeing here, however, are power challengers (and some power holders) who are invested in continuing conflict (or seeing the problem resolved by the total victory of one side or the other, which can only be achieved by violence) trying to completely derail the negotiating process.

For once Barack Obama comes to the party:

“The message should go out to Hamas and everybody else who is taking credit for these heinous crimes that this is not going to stop us from not only ensuring a secure Israel but also securing a longer-lasting peace,” Mr. Obama said, following a meeting with the Israeli leader.

But how does he plan to deal with those who don’t like the idea of sticking with negotiations?

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