John Kerry says he's hopeful that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can be resolved during his tenure as secretary of State. But that hope, shared by President Obama, might be a pipe dream.
During his confirmation hearing last week, Kerry made headlines for his optimistic view that a peace deal between the Israelis and Palestinians was possible.
"I pray that maybe this will be a moment that will allow us to renew the effort to bring the parties to the negotiating table and go down a different path than the one they were on in the last few years," Kerry said on Thursday. "I would like to try and do that."
But as he is set to be confirmed by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday, and eventually by the Senate, observers are less optimistic about his chances of brokering a peace deal.
"Every president, every secretary of State thinks that they can bring peace to the Middle East, and they have a 100 percent record over the last 65 years of failure," said Mitchell Bard, the executive director of the American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise. "No plan developed by the United States has worked--and can't work, because it has to come from the parties themselves."
Until agreement on a peace deal is plausible, Obama is likely to delegate the issue to Kerry, as he did with outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and as President George W. Bush did with Secretary Condoleezza Rice.