Colin Powell's first official trip to the Mideast as secretary of state saw him play the same moral equivalency game of his predecessors. Powell blamed both sides for the violence. The difference is that Yasser Arafat uses violence as a political tool to get what he wants, while Israel, for the most part, is trying to defend itself against attempts to exterminate the Jewish state.
The only thing Israel's enemies understand is power. They took advantage of Ehud Barak's weakness and saw his agreement to give away virtually all of the West Bank as an invitation to demand even more. They rejected Barak's offer and now want to start where he left off in future so-called "negotiations," which are not negotiations, but from the Palestinian viewpoint, terms of surrender.
The Middle East is an unsolvable problem so long as it is the policy of Israel's enemies to destroy the Jewish state. That's just a fact and nothing will change that fact. Nothing.
I'm Cal Thomas in Washington.