Nathan Guttman at Haaretz points out the new policy of the U.S. concerning the diplomacy between Israel and Palestine. In a nutshell, the U.S. is moving from the mediator to the supporter, pledging support to both sides in the Rice era, which demonstrates a shift from the first 4 years of the Bush administration and an even stronger shift from the role that Clinton took.
Is it a good shift? Under the present circumstances, probably. With the passing of Arafat, one has only to check the headlines to notice that terror has declined in the region. You don't hear such a report from the mainstream in the U.S., but the Nobel Prize winning Arafat was one of the world's greatest hindrances to peace. I'm not saying that the road is going to be smooth now. In fact, the trouble will continue, but we all still have an obligation to attempt to work for peace.