US sees role in peace talks coming to a close — report | Times of Israel

I go away from home for a few days and, in doing so, inadvertently sever myself from all contact with the internet. Having thus become more or less isolated from news of developments in matters Middle Eastern, on my return, what do I find?

The Kerry peace initiative appears dead in the water and, after nearly nine long months of unconvincing animation, this comes as no great surprise. Rockets continue to bombard Israeli territory and, yet again, war planes respond with attacks on the ‘usual targets’ in Hamas-controlled Gaza.

Quite like old times.

And that, I suspect, has been the problem all along. It is like old times. Too much like them.

Nothing of real consequence has changed; no advances have been made in seriously confronting the overall situation and any significant movement forward and away from aspects constantly pulling it back to square one is still nowhere to be found.

What, therefore, are the chances for coming across some new road to peace, a means of by-passing the current route which now appears to be comprehensively blocked and its transit well-nigh impassable?

Last year I had occasion to view two enormous road-making machines. Big they were and quite the noisiest things for many miles around. Little doubt was left as to their purpose and function. One busied itself scraping and clearing away the worn-out surface of the road alongside where my house stands. At a stage somewhat later, a carpet of hot tarmac, black and mildly fragrant, was laid out by the other over the newly exposed base of the highway. By the very next day, this was ready for the conveyance of all types of vehicles and transport.

One fact was most evident. Unless, for some obscure reason, you wished to achieve physical union with the ground itself, you did not dare to stand in the path of either machine.

The equivalent of such powerhouses might be the very items necessary for the construction of a much more durable path towards a Palestinian – Israeli peace, one far greater in scale and consequence than anything previously contemplated, currently embarked upon or envisaged for future consideration.

There can be times when all that’s needed is to know how much power can be made available, an excess of which is always preferable, and the means by which it can be most convincingly applied.  – ‘for those of us with better things to do.’