Concerns about the Middle East, put on a back burner due to a tenuous but, until recently, holding cease fire, are now back in focus as Israel launches deadly air raids against the Gaza strip.
News reports indicate at least 145 dead and more than 310 wounded.
The raids were in response to renewed rocket launches against Israel.
The Israeli Defence Forces say that Hamas security compounds were targeted.
If experience proves consistent, international reaction to the retaliatory raids will be deafening as compared to the mute response to the initial attacks. Israel is sure to be condemned for its "disproportionate" response to the Hamas aggression.
Suddenly, there will be renewed talk about an equitable solution to the conflict. Talk that seems to take a holiday during times of peace.
The loss of human life aside, Hamas gains politically from its attacks and the subsequent response. It's political agenda gets thrust into the spotlight. And Israel gets condemned. Perfect. If it were not for the people who are now dead.
The very international community that will now strongly criticize Israel is culpable for not speaking out and working for a peaceful solution when there is no conflict. It's time to stop with the self righteousness and to start a meaningful process.
My hope is that the incoming Obama administration will take advantage of the hope the president-elect inspires among Americans and people around the world and insert itself diplomatically. This requires, not a benign approach where the president of the United States pats the leaders of both sides on the head. But a strong, nearly dictatorial approach, that forces both sides to come up with a peace plan.
The United States and the rest of the world should be clear and unified in its reproach to Hamas aggression as well. To put the entire onus on Israel, simply because it enjoys military might, misses the point.
Israel's use of military power is always in response to attacks. Hamas has to be told that its misbehavior and provocation will no longer be rewarded with political reproaches of Israel's response.