Roger L. Simon

Dept. of Holding Our Breath

The Big Step has been taken in the Holy Land. You can be as cynical as you want, but I’m choosing to hope. It has to start somewhere.

Sharm El-Sheik – Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas declared on Tuesday they would stop all military or violent activity against each other, a pledge crucial to getting Mideast peace talks that stalled four years ago back on track.

With their flags whipping in the wind, Sharon and Abbas met face-to-face at a Mideast summit on Tuesday. Afterward, Abbas said: “We have agreed on halting all violent actions against Palestinians and Israelis wherever they are.”

Sharon made a similar pledge: “Today, in my meeting with chairman Abbas, we agreed that all Palestinians will stop all acts of violence against all Israelis everywhere, and, at the same time, Israel will cease all its military activity against all Palestinians everywhere.”

UPDATE: Astuteblogger also sees cause for optimism.

MEANWHILE: Controversy inside Hamas. But that’s not surprising.