The NY Times comes home to reality:
Keeping Mideast Talks Going Has Become an End in Itself
The Times puts the players on the couch:
All three parties have vested interests in the engagement: negotiations often come with tangible take-homes for the Palestinians, ease international pressure on Israel and lend credibility to the Obama administration’s faltering foreign policy. But now all three parties are calculating the costs as well: how long can Mr. Kerry continue chasing an elusive peace while there is so much else to deal with in a tumultuous world, and how can Israeli and Palestinian leaders avoid looking weak to their skeptical constituents and fractured governments?
The peace process has been churning for more than 20 years now, taking on a life of its own and becoming something of an end in itself. Some analysts see the Kerry-fueled negotiations as inhibiting a reckoning with the fundamental gulfs between the Israeli and Palestinian positions. The parties have spent hundreds of hours in recent weeks debating the particulars of which prisoners might be freed when; any discussion of how to divide Jerusalem, where to draw a border or the rights of refugees is a distant memory.
There is a culture of codependency surrounding the talks, with Mr. Kerry — whose umpteen visits and phone calls have provided life support in the last months –— cast in the role of enabler. One Israeli columnist this week likened him to a nanny offering aspirin instead of a cure. Another column was headlined, “Mr. Kerry, Go Home.”
There is a Nobel Prize out there with John Kerry's name on it. He just knows it!
Any day now the Times will discover that the talks in Syria are all process and no result.