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The Believer

Tzipi Livni still thinks peace is possible in Israel and Palestine. She's about to get her chance to prove it.

Asia's Bright Spot

Our Jan. 19 article on China's economic success drew mixed responses. One attributed the success to a "unique brand of socialist democracy." Another contended that we didn't tell the whole story, noting that "there are multitudes of beggars and homeless people present in almost every Chinese city." Dissecting China's EconomyRana Foroohar's "Why China Works" (Jan. 19) was most informative.

Mail Call

Our Jan. 16 cover story on Ariel Sharon propelled readers to ponder his legacy. One praised his "warrior background"; another labeled him a "warmonger." As for the future of the Mideast, one cautioned against placing "the hopes of bringing peace on the shoulders of overwhelmed mortals."I was moved by reading " 'I'm Not Afraid' " (Jan. 16), about Ariel Sharon.

PERISCOPE

ISRAEL Withdrawal Symptoms The closer Israel gets to withdrawing from the Gaza Strip, the more worried leaders of the country's domestic Shabak security service are becoming.

War On Two Fronts

Bursts of automatic-rifle fire echo up the street; wisps of tear gas float in the air. An ambulance rushes toward the scene, where Israeli soldiers at a checkpoint outside the Palestinian city of Ramallah are using live ammo to force back a rock-throwing mob.