Hopes that the new Obama administration would just waltz into the Middle East and broker a peace have been quickly dispelled as U.S. special envoy George Mitchell returns to the United States with grim news about the prospects.
The issue of peace in the Middle East was the discussion today on News Talk Online on Paltalk.com as the cease-fire was shattered by Palestinian rockets launched into Israel. Israel counter-attacked pledging to do so for every single future violation of the cease-fire.
Mitchell spent two days meeting with Palestinian and Israeli leaders. He left announcing his frustration at the lack of progress and predicted an uphill battle when he comes back after Israel's general election next month.
Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is running for his old position and with whom Mitchell met, is vowing to finish the job started by current Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and eradicate Hamas from the Gaza if elected.
Meanwhile, a Hamas leader today actually declared victory over Israel in the three week battle in the Gaza.
Callers to News Talk Online on Paltalk.com were universally supportive of Israel.
Jim in Colorado says Israel has been struggling since its establishment, constantly fighting off wars started by other countries and should, therefore, be earning the sympathy, not the condemnation, of the world.
Christof in Germany wants the United Nations to do its job and intervene with a viable peace plan.
Bahane in California says Hamas needs to be condemned for forcing people out of their homes and using those houses as launching pads against Israel and for using people as human shields during the 22-day Israeli incursion.
Leah in Texas says it's unreasonable to expect that the Israelis will negotiate with Hamas. "How do you make peace," she asks, "with someone who vows your annihilation?"
Edward in Oklahoma believes the only way to end the violence is for Israel to take over the Gaza.
Joel from Israel says the world would view this conflict differently if it understood that Iran is pulling the strings of Hamas and that both are associated with the same entity responsible for the 9/11 attacks.
Dean from Spokane wonders if the people in the Gaza expected this kind of violence when they elected Hamas to represent them.
Finally, Silvia in Argentina says the problem is, in spite of its election, giving Hamas legitimacy.