Post Arafat opportunities and obligations
Now, post-Arafat, there is a great opportunity to move towards peace. There is an actual improvement in the Egypt-Israel relationship. Finally everyone with a bit of common-sense realizes that Arafat was the main obstacle on the way to peace. (Even to the Palestinian side it is clear now, though can not be said openly. But facts talk: Abu Ala - alias Ahmed Qurei - and Mahmoud Abbas - alias Abu Mazen - ousted of their government within days after Arafat was gone all the six ministers who were known as puppets of the past leader.)
But to actually reach peace is not easy. For it each side must do its obligations and beyond that. Israel has to make actual steps for peace - and is resolute to do so. Such a step underway is the painful evacuation of forty-years-old Jewish settlements from Ghaza in order to leave the whole Ghaza strip to the Palestinians.
The long-due Palestinian obligation is to make all possible efforts to stop terror, like bombarding Israeli civilians from the territories where the Palestinians received autonomy. Mahmoud Abbas must act against terror organizations like Hamas and against Fattah's armed thugs like the Martyrs' Brigades. If he does not act, he must be pressed also by The West.
There is a hope now to move towards peace. Israel is ready again for painful sacrifices, but this time the Palestinians too must do more than empty promises, made solely in English, while in Arabic the incitement for hatred and murder goes on.