“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.” …

“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.” …

However, the facts on the ground stand in Kerry’s way. While their neighbors are entrenched in bitter conflicts—the insurrection in Syria or the riots in Egypt—Israelis and Palestinians are dealing with their own political storms that aren’t conducive to a peace deal.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has refused to sit down with Israeli leaders and has pursued unilateral action through the United Nations, which the U.S. has criticized. Additionally, Abbas has said he wants to pursue reconciliation with Hamas, an Islamic militant group that has been responsible for several attacks on Israel in recent years. …