Commentary: A new beginning in Middle East

-President Barack Obama spoke in refreshingly blunt but diplomatic terms last week to describe the Mideast predicament and how to put an end to the cycle of violence that has existed for decades between Israel and its neighbors.

The heart of his message is that both sides have a responsibility to overcome poisonous resentments and break the vicious deadlock that has brought so much grief and misery to the region's inhabitants.

His speech was well-received in most quarters – ecstatically so, in some cases – but some in the audience may have indulged in selective listening. Mr. Obama offered to be an honest broker between Israel and its adversaries to break the regional stalemate.

By speaking frankly and addressing Muslims from Cairo, Mr. Obama succeeded in giving the United States greater credibility in the Islamic world, but that alone won't change the harsh realities of the Mideast.

"That does not mean we should ignore sources of tension," the president declared as he appealed for mutual understanding. "Indeed, it suggests the opposite: We must face those tensions squarely."

Precisely so. Finding a solution to the Middle East crisis means that neither side can have everything it wants on its own terms.

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