The old saying that ‘you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink’ is perhaps most appropriate at this time. Israelis and Palestinians, Jews and Arabs may well understand the need for peace and why it has to happen but that still doesn’t make it any easier for them to swallow, at least not in the context favoured by every past outing of the genre.

Mr. Kerry is, no doubt, doing his very best and his not inconsiderable infusion of $4 billion into the watering trough is more than adequate proof of this. Certainly this is a handsome inducement but will it be enough to persuade all the ‘horses’ to partake of the new concoction? The fear is that, after a few sips, some may still find it not to their liking and then decline all further interest in the drinking session.

What happens next? Back to the drawing board for more ideas? Or wait out the years until the situation has again softened or deteriorated sufficiently to permit another crack at the problem?

If peace is always going to be such a hard pill to swallow even with the sugar-coating so generously provided by Mr. Kerry, then another technique could be used instead. Horse pills, which do actually exist in equine veterinary circles, are sometimes delivered via a tube inserted into the mouth of the animal. Blowing the item directly into the beast gives it very little choice in the matter and the medication can then be left to do its work in relative peace and quiet.

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Sometimes it can all come down to just that one vital piece in the puzzle; having the appropriate delivery system on hand and then being quite prepared to use it.