Many regional specialists say the mood in the Middle East is more desperate than at any time since the founding of the state of Israel 53 years ago. And Arab commentators predict that the level of violence can only increase.

Few Israelis, Palestinians, or foreign observers hold out hope for peace in any foreseeable future. Today's Dateline with Judith Latham examines the "Middle East Perils" that may lie ahead.

If you prefer, you may download a copy of this report for later listening.

Every Monday through Friday Dateline examines an issue in the news. Listen to these recent Dateline programs:

Star Party
National War Memorial
Macedonia's Fragile Peace Process
Maritime Piracy
Bulgaria's Royal Prime Minister
Air Rage
Air Crash Investigators
The IT Industry and San Francisco
Researchers Document Congo River Basin
Oasis of Peace
The War In Afghanistan
Raising Arizona