President Bush should be applauded for demonstrating his personal commitment to the Middle East peace process by visiting the region and meeting Israeli, Palestinian and Arab leaders. Secretary of State Colin Powell's quick return mission also reflects a shift in the administration's priorities, following two and a half years of disengagement.
I recently visited a hospital patient, an elderly gentleman with a name, a gaze and a life story from the old country. His deterioration had advanced to the stage of inhibiting verbal communication, so he spoke to me instead through gestures, nods and stares. But slowly, we drew closer. We shared sorrow, distress and worry. Eventually, exhausted, he told me he wanted to get some rest. I recited the "Shema" for him, and he closed his eyes in fatigue.