There is no reason to despair, Gideon Levy. The Europeans have already moderated their stand regarding Hamas. They want to see that the Quartet demands are reflected in actions, not necessarily in declarations, and they are giving the new government 3 months to show this. This is fair enough. We will just wait and see, but I am optimistic. In the meantime, France has already declared that the unity government should be dealt with, and Russia did as well. In 3 months, if the EU accepts the French (and Spanish) position, there will be two members of the Quartet wishing to recognize the unity government. I assume the UN will follow suit, why not? At this point Ban is still obligated to follow the PRESENT Quartet view, but this may change. The question is: What will the US do, and will the other partners of the Quartet follow the US? The US has lost a great deal of influence around the world, and its administration is recognized as incompetent. I imagine the Europeans and Russians will insist on their own approach. Either they succeed in persuading Bush, or we will say goodbye to the Quartet. And while we are at it, let us also say good riddance to the roadblock known as the Roadmap.
4.2-scale earthquake felt in Dead Sea, Jerusalem area (Haaretz)
from the article: A dangerous masked ball