Not even the most optimistic assessment of Mr. Kerry’s latest efforts in the tortuous labyrinth of Israeli-Palestinian peace initiatives would dare to predict success as the outcome. But, to be fair, he does deserve to get full marks for trying.
As so many of his predecessors have already discovered, the conflicting forces that contend within this 65 year-old battle are ever capable of defeating what new measures are brought to bear against it.
While paying for the problem to go away is certainly a very direct approach and has much to recommend it, the feeling remains that only the absence of conflict can be acquired in this manner and not true peace itself. And even this much might amount to no more than a passing phase, a brief lull in the proceedings. Once the novelty wears off (or the money runs out), the situation must then revert back to its familiar and more predictable pattern. Unless provision can be made for increased and long-lasting stability within this new arrangement, whatever gains may be expected will soon disappear, much as they have always done before now.
Ideally, the best method of all would be for everyone to start over again, this time with a clean sheet, a blank page upon which to write an entirely different chapter in what is now a very old story. If only another baseline could be created, one 65 years removed from the last one, then movement forward into a future where peace almost naturally becomes the default position might very well be possible.
A new beginning? A fresh start? A way out?
Why not? All other options have been tried and found wanting. If Mr. Kerry cannot fully seal the bargain on this, his sixth visit to the region, then what alternative is there?
Good to know, however, that there are always possibilities.