U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry disembarks from a helicopter at Mafrar Airbase in Jordan before visiting the Za'atri camp for Syrian refugees on July 18, 2013. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry disembarks from a helicopter at Mafrar Airbase in Jordan before visiting the Za’atri camp for Syrian refugees on July 18, 2013. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

SECRETARY of State John Kerry is bringing the notion of Middle East peace back into the discussion this week. It’s unlikely anything he does will please anyone.

The moribund notion that anything can actually be discussed that will lead to an agreement between the parties has been seen as a fantasy throughout the Obama presidency, which will not be known for focusing on Israeli and Palestinian issues, with Obama’s initial strong stance against settlements calcifying the situation.

Reuters reporting:

Israeli and Palestinian officials put forward clashing formats for peace talks due to resume in Washington on Monday for the first time in nearly three years after intense U.S. mediation.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is due to bring the negotiators together in the evening and on Tuesday to renew talks that broke down in 2010 over Israel’s settlement of occupied land where Palestinians seek a state.

Previous attempts to resolve the decades-old conflict had sought to ward off deadlock and the risk of knock-on violence by tackling easier disputes first and deferring the most emotional ones like the fate of Jerusalem and Palestinian refugees.

Let’s just call this what it is, an attempt to reset an issue that has been ignored in the Bush – Obama era. You can make the argument that there’s nothing that can be accomplished due to the issue of a shared Jerusalem, but also “right of return” of the Palestinians, which is a non-starter. Unfortunately, the issues between the Palestinians and the Israelis have gone on so long without any hope of manifesting a beneficial solution that people no longer even mark the moment of talks between the parties.

For long-time watchers of this subject, of which I’m one, the announcement of “peace talks” has turned farcical, because the outcome is always the same.