Beware failed negotiators like Dennis Ross when they continue to pontificate on the possibility of the two-state solution.
Formerly the United States chief negotiator for the Arab-Israeli conflict from 1993 to 2001 and a special assistant to the president for the Middle East and South Asia from 2009 to 2011 - Dennis Ross is now a distinguished fellow and counselor to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
In his recent article in the New York Times entitled - "To Achieve Mideast Peace,Suspend Disbelief" - Mr Ross concludes that neither side believes the other side is committed to the two-state solution but that cannot be an argument for doing nothing.
He further states that if the two-state solution is discredited as an outcome - something and someone will fill the void.
Ross speculates that the Islamists of Hamas, with their rejection of two-states, seem primed to fill the void - when he says the conflict will be transformed from a nationalist into a religious one and at that point it may not be possible to resolve.
One can only shake one's head in amazement that Mr Ross actually believes this is a nationalist conflict and not a religious conflict.
The continuing refusal by the PLO, Hamas and theArab League to recognise Israel as the Jewish National Home - first decreed with the unanimous consent of the League of Nations in 1922 and incorporated into the United Nations Charter under article 80 in 1945 - indicates that Mr Ross learnt nothing after 8 years in the hot seat as the United States chief negotiator.
Mr Ross asks - so what can be done?
His proposal is one taken right out of fairyland:
I propose a 14-point agenda for discussions. Twelve of the points - six on the Israeli side and six on the Palestinian side - would be coordinated unilateral moves that each party would be willing to discuss and implement provided that the other side would do its part. The final points would be mutual steps taken concurrently by both sides. The goal would be to chip away at the sources of each side's disbelief about the other's commitment to a genuine two-state solution.
In a remarkably contrived display of evenhandedness - 6 discussion points apiece - Mr Ross has gone back to the failed formula of pressing Israel to make concrete commitments in return for PLO commitments that - apart from one - amount to nothing more than sheer hot air.
Israel six-point list is as follows:
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