Senator John Kerry’s itinerary for this week would see him returning to the region on Thursday and Friday. His main purpose? To establish favourable conditions wherein Arab-Israeli negotiations can be restarted after nearly five years of virtual stalemate. This might then allow matters to move forward towards an eventual settlement, a breakthrough of epic proportions, one having far reaching consequences and benefits for untold millions of people.
If everything goes according to plan, such negotiations may yet pave the way for momentous changes in the Middle East, changes without precedent ever since hostilities first began. Whereas before, only the bleakest of prospects for a lasting peace could be entertained, a successful outcome here might very well herald a new dawn in human understanding and fulfillment.
OK , now that would be the dream ticket but all previous attempts, each of them well documented and invariably negative, tend to discount such optimism in every way, shape and form.
All right. Where then is the backup plan, the default position? What happens if Mr. Kerry et al fail to arrange even a single preliminary meeting, securing not one exploratory venture down a road already strewn with so many doomed versions of his current assignment?
What? There really is no backup, no contingency of any kind, nothing in reserve? How very remiss of everyone involved. Could it be that this latest diplomatic tsunami is nothing more than window dressing, the usual fishing expedition, lacking in even the remotest chance of any deliverable result?
Just what is the world coming to if it can’t resolve what is, by comparison, a relatively minor conflict in terms of dead and dying, of damage and distress to those caught up in its ongoing machinations?
At some point in the history of this saga, the bullet has to be bitten; it becomes time to make the call, to do the deed. Otherwise, Mr. Kerry and those of his profession will be still toiling away at this unhappy problem for forever and a day.
And ‘forever’, in such circumstances, is an option open to none of us. Not unless complete and utter failure has some attraction not yet vouched-safe to our present line of thinking.