On a bright, sunny day in September of 1993, I stood on the White House lawn watching Yitzhak Rabin and Yasir Arafat sign the Oslo peace accords in front of President Bill Clinton. At that moment, it was possible to suspend disbelief and imagine a two-state solution, with Israel and Palestine living side by side.
Any pope who travels from Havana to the United States on a mission to persuade Congress to uplift the poor and address global warming has to be pretty audacious. So on his coming trip, Pope Francis will no doubt spark speculation about his potential for diplomatic miracles.
Trudy Rubin’s Worldview column runs on Thursdays and Sundays. Over the past decade she has made multiple trips to Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Egypt, Turkey, Israel and the West Bank and also written from Syria, Tunisia, Lebanon, Iran, Russia, Ukraine, South Korea and China. She is the author of Willful Blindness: the Bush Administration and Iraq, a book of her columns from 2002-2004. In 2001 she was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in commentary and in 2008 she was awarded the Edward Weintal prize for international reporting. In 2010 she won the Arthur Ross award for international commentary from the Academy of American Diplomacy.