One of the lessons professional journalists have learned over the years is that objectivity and balance can sometimes be wrongly used. If, as a journalist, you are witnessing rain, you are not obliged to report that one side says it is raining and the other side says it is not. You have an obligation to your audience to tell it simply that it is raining.
The report that was recently released by the Middle East Quartet - comprised of the United States, Russia, the European Union, and the United Nations - is a welcome step. Perhaps most crucially, the report concludes with a pointed observation.
It was the finale performance of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra's New Creations Festival opening night on Saturday and to be honest, the whole night threw me off guard.
During several meetings I recently had with EU officials, they argued that it is time to revive the Middle East Quartet. I took the opposite position because I believe that the Quartet failed from the onset to breathe new life into the peace negotiations. In fact, it has become a major impediment to the peace process.
But the country has invited 19 other countries and the Arab League to the peace talks.
The enduring impasse between Israel and the Palestinians in the peace negotiations and their changing internal political dynamics has made it impossible for them to resolve the conflict on their own.
The prospective Israeli-Hamas truce presents a momentous opportunity, albeit in disguise, for all parties concerned to turn a new page in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and change its geopolitical and security dynamics, which succeeding Israeli and Palestinian governments could build on.
When you look over the plays Noel Coward trumpeted during his fabulous career, few give the impression of being in any direct way autobiographical.
Admittedly, the situation at the moment looks grim: After months of negotiations, a dozen personal visits from the secretary, and countless trips between Jerusalem and Ramallah, Israel is announcing new settlements and reneging on its agreement to release a small number of Palestinian prisoners this weekend.