The two political leaders pictured here are U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (left) and Middle East Quartet Representative and former United Kingdom Prime Minister Tony Blair. The two men are walking next to a wall at the Villa Taverna, the U.S. ambassador's residence in Rome, Italy, on May 9, 2013.
Less than a month later, Secretary Kerry spoke to the World Economic Forum in Amman, Jordan, where he introduced an initiative he hopes will break an "impasse" between Israel and Palestine.
Kerry called his initiative, "Breaking The Impasse." He claimed that his plan would:
"...triple tourism to the occupied Palestinian territories, double or triple Palestinian agriculture production, increase the Palestinian GDP by 50 percent, and foster the construction of a whopping 100,000 new, energy efficient Palestinian homes in the West Bank."
Tony Blair was to be in charge of the initiative.
This is the same Tony Blair who was given an assignment to organize for peace on behalf of the Quartet, which hired him for that purpose. The Quartet is composed of leaders from the United Nations, the United States, the European Union, and Russia.
We have to believe that Kerry's "ambitious initiative" was developed on walks like the one Kerry and Blair took last month in Rome. At some point, we must also assume a staffer hauled out a dictionary to make sure the parties involved (both English-speakers) understood that an "impasse" is a "road or passage having no exit; a cul-de-sac."
Furthermore, a "cul-de-sac," as we all know, is designed purposely not to be broken.
Communities build residential sections with "cul-de-sacs," a street with only one entry point. A "cul-de-sac" is designed to keep the neighborhood secure and the children safe.
The specific political "impasse" between Israel and Palestine involves an occupying military power controlling an occupied population. The only way to break a "cul-de-sac" is to turn it into a straight road, an action which Israel has shown no inclination to support.
Since "breaking the impasse" is the goal Kerry seeks, it follows that he must know the only way to end this "impasse" is to tear down the occupation wall and end the occupation.
However, in his speech at the Jordan forum, Secretary Kerry said absolutely nothing about the occupation. He also made no reference to the separation wall that both enforces and symbolizes the occupation.
What Kerry did offer were hopeful points on what capitalism is prepared to do for Palestine. Here from his text are the optimistic predictions delivered to him by experts who studied Palestine's future:
"I raised this issue with the President of China, with the Prime Minister of Japan, with all of our European leaders, and everywhere -- with the Brazilian Foreign Minister a few days ago, with the New Zealand Foreign Minister. All of them have on the tip of their tongues the idea that we can make peace in the Middle East and need to, and all of them are committed to be part of this effort in order to change life on the ground.
"The fact is that we are looking to mobilize some $4 billion of investment. And this team of experts -- private citizens, donating their time -- are here right now. They're analyzing the opportunities in tourism, construction, light manufacturing, building materials, energy, agriculture, and information and communications technology.
"This group will make recommendations to the Palestinians. They're not going to decide anything. The Palestinians will decide that in their normal course of governance. But they will analyze and make recommendations on a set of choices that can dramatically lift the economy."