Earlier this week, a meeting took place at Lambeth Palace in London between key representatives from the Church of England, the Catholic Church as well as the Church of Scotland on the one hand and the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his delegation on the other.
Palestine remains politically inert despite the artificial fireworks of a UN application for statehood or membership of UNESCO, observes Dr Harry Hagopian. So why is Palestine faced with such a thunderous crime of silence? After all, over the past year, we have been witnessing popular uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa region. Where is the disconnect here?
Palestinian leaders Mahmoud Abbas and Khaled Mashal met in Cairo recently to try to resolve their differences. The outcome is not totally clear yet, says commentator Ghassan Michel Rubeiz. But what is certain is that it will take more than handshaking and an embrace for Palestinians to settle their deep divisions.
Unity for the Palestinians will be achieved only when the people collectively build a common vision on how to tackle the occupation, says Ghassan Rubeiz, noting the encouraging moves towards nonviolence at the grassroots and among some key protagonists.
As discussions over the future of Israel and Palestine resumes in Brussels this weekend, attention has once again turned towards the role of the Quartet on the Middle East, the collectivity of nations and international and supranational bodies involved in mediating the peace process in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Palestinian authorities are bidding to gain international recognition of Statehood at the United Nations in New York. The US favours direct negotiations between Israel and Palestine and has already expressed serious reservations with Secretary of State Clinton saying "the route [to peace] lies in Jerusalem and Ramallah not in New York".
There are plenty of grounds for a paradoxical 'pessoptimism' about developments in the Middle East and North Africa, writes Harry Hagopian. The huge Arab struggles for dignity and freedom are vital but will take a long time. History in Europe and the USA should surely teach us that revolutions are never made in one swoop, but take time and cause pain.