A little while back, the following was noted in the piece The Trouble with Americans Negotiating:
Basically, Americans look at negotiating with Iran, Syria or anyone else the same way they do business deals: the negotiators go in, they apply whatever skills they have at “doing the deal,” but they get the deal done. Failing to do so results in the perception that the negotiations were a failure, and thus the negotiators are failures. This is a tag no American can stand to be stuck with.
Evidently that kind of compulsive proactivity is at work in both Washington (and sadly Jerusalem) these days with their reaction over the takeover of the Gaza Strip by Hamas. Israel is talking about a military strike. Washington is resuming pouring tax money into Fatah. And both are trumpeting the possibilities for peace once again.
All of this is silly. What has happened is that the Palestinians themselves have killed the two-state solution. This wasn’t supposed to happen; the main opponents of that were supposed to be all of those Zionists out there. But, since many in both capitals have staked their reputations upon such a solution, they keep working against reality to make it happen.
Although Hamas is certainly formidable, Israel has more formidable opponents to watch (like Hezbollah.) Washington’s funding of Fatah will probably damage the latter’s reputation in the Middle East, which will only help Hamas. The best bet of the U.S. and Israel is to sit tight and allow things to continue until the Arab world tires of it. And that’s unlikely. In the meanwhile, the more we do, the worse it gets.