Risks and Opportunities

Amid the destruction in Lebanon, Israelis and Arabs look to the U.S.

The Israeli circle of steel swung shut around Beirut. Caught in the ancient city, the forces of the Palestine Liberation Organization braced for the final assault. But far more than the P.L.O.'s fate hung in the balance. Israel's blitz had thoroughly scrambled the pieces of the Middle East puzzle, posing enormous risks and offering unexpected opportunities to work for peace in that embattled and strategically vital corner of the world. If the P.L.O. were neutralized and the Syrians persuaded to depart the country, there...

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