Dear Mr. Kerry,
As a framework designed to promote that ever elusive rapprochement between Israelis and Palestinians, this one wasn’t all that bad.
It touched on several concerns well overdue for active consideration; it addressed issues which, in the many years and decades past, have never been resolved, certainly not to anyone’s complete satisfaction; even their reluctant acquiescence here was always beyond reach and this in spite of a multitude of schemes and incentives designed to do so.
And yet, in the circumstances as they exist today and much as they have done for generations, your valiant efforts to usher peace into this part of the Middle East have appeared to fare no better than so many of the others that have gone before.
Judging by the reception thus far, I would say very little new ground has been broken and both sides seem quite content to rehash old arguments and make do with previously stated positions. These, as you may have noticed, have not been modified to any significant extent since the last serious attempt at dialogue and negotiation. And that was quite some time ago, was it not?
You have striven heroically to bridge the differences between both sides, balancing their dreams and fears in equal measure, trying to be fair to each of them in turn. But, if there is still momentum left in the drive towards peace and all its attendant benefits, then playing nice and being reasonable seems to have advanced that process not one bit.
So, after 66 years of conflict and with only the prospect of many more of the same to come, why don’t we all stop being nice and become downright unreasonable for a change?
Here everything is taken to the next level, the entire project is reworked, accelerated and pushed to the very limit. And then some way beyond it. In this scenario, the worst elements within both societies are faced with a total reversal of their status, a rearrangement that precludes activities that were once deemed commonplace, even acceptable at the time but now are no longer valid in any sense of the word.
Remember, Mr. Kerry, the idea here must always be to get results, real ones and, above all, not become too restricted by conventional thinking. Allowing yourself to be enmeshed in the coils of Middle Eastern tensions, divisions and intrigues can reveal a picture none too pleasing to the eye.