A roundup of the most talked about political and global stories in the Jewish world this week:
War wears on
"Diplomatic efforts to end two weeks of Gaza Strip violence intensified after dozens of Palestinians and 13 Israeli soldiers died in the conflict’s bloodiest single day," reported Bloomberg on Monday. "The bloodshed in Gaza is further destabilizing a region already mired in conflict from Iraq to Yemen. With death tolls mounting and Israel’s ground operations escalating, the need to find a formula to stanch the Gaza bloodshed grew more urgent," the report went on to say. How this ends is anyone's guess, said The New York Times' editorial board: "Without a political strategy, another cease-fire may be the most anyone can hope for at this moment. But Hamas leaders have rejected one proposed in the past week by Egypt and are demanding better terms. Meanwhile, Palestinian civilians suffer the consequences."
On the other side of the equation, The Wall Street Journal editorial board wrote, "Hamas won't stop its rocket and other attacks until it concludes that the military and political price it is paying is too high. Until that happens a democracy like Israel is obliged to take the steps necessary to defend itself."
Mere days before his arrival in the region for peace talks, Secretary of State John Kerry was caught on an open mic saying, “It’s a hell of a pinpoint operation,” Kerry said to an aide before his interview on “Fox News Sunday.” What impact did that make on relations? "Indeed, John Kerry is but the tip of the iceberg. As long as the Obama administration is in office, it really does not matter who the secretary of state is. It will not withdraw its recognition of the State Department-designated terrorist organization Hamas in its coalition with Fatah," said Adam Goldstein at The American Spectator.
By Wednesday, after Kerry had landed in the region, he cited "progress" in his talks for a peace deal. "The final question is what kind of deal could be achieved. The simplest way to conclude this round would be quiet for quiet: no more Hamas rockets and no more Israeli military action. But it's probably too late for that kind of a cease-fire, and it would likely only be a temporary respite," wrote CNN's Aaron David Miller.