US Secretary of State John Kerry is not a young man anymore; he is approaching 70, but he is still vibrant. On Passover eve he visited Israel along with President Barack Obama, then he came back on his own, and in a few days he is due to visit yet again.
His aides promise that this is just the beginning and that he plans on visiting us every two weeks until he finds a solution that will resume the peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.
But with all due respect to good intentions, Kerry should calm down. At the end of the day, as they say in Washington, it will end in bitter disappointment. So why sweat for nothing? Why should Kerry waste his precious time?
Hillary Clinton, Kerry's predecessor at the State Department, understood this early on in her term. She rarely visited Israel. President Obama tried to do something by remote control and failed. The relations between Netanyahu and Abbas are just as bad as they were four years ago, maybe even worse. The Americans put forth the effort, but the Palestinians didn’t want to resume talks. There is no formula that can make peace between us and them – there isn't even a formula for a short-term interim agreement.
The leadership in Ramallah has already proven on two or three separate occasions that even far-reaching concessions on our part will not cause them to lay down their arms. Ehud Barak offered Arafat half of Jerusalem, Olmert agreed to compromise with Abbas on the refugee issue, and the result is known. The disengagement from Gaza, an Israeli withdrawal from every centimeter, did not change the situation. The mutual hatred remained. It provided almost scientific proof that the permanent arrangement the Palestinians seek is a permanent arrangement without us. Apparently, they will only be satisfied when we are gone.
Therefore, it is unclear what causes a serious man such as Kerry to believe that he can succeed where others failed. After all the years of Sisyphean mediation, it is time the Americans recognize the limits of their diplomatic power and stop deluding us. Enough, already! There is nothing more ridiculous than diplomatic peace missions between Jerusalem and Ramallah when rockets are flying between Gaza and Sderot.
Kerry's energies should be directed towards other conflict regions in the world; the Far East, for example. He has a better chance of turning Pyongyang into London than of making peace in our horribly polarized region.