Daniel C. Kurtzer, a former top U.S. diplomat in the Mideast and a recent adviser to Barack Obama, says divisions in the Israeli electorate will paralyze the political process and could lead to an extended "hiatus" in peace-making.
Aaron David Miller, a former top U.S. Mideast negotiator, says that naming George J. Mitchell as the new special envoy for Arab-Israeli issue shows the Obama administration is substituting "process for substance."
Middle East expert Richard W. Murphy says the United States runs the risk of delaying the Israeli-Palestinian peace process by blackballing Hamas. Though opening relations with the group may be necessary, he says he does not expect it to come quickly.
The United Nations has frequently cited East Timor as a model nation-building project. But new unrest in the tiny Asian state indicates that the international community has again failed to show the stamina to guide a nation toward genuine stability.