The United States, having failed to bring the Israeli and Palestinians into direct peace talks, is now being advised to impose a peace. So argues the Economist: "It is time for the world to agree on a settlement and impose it on the feuding parties." Bernard Avishai at TPM agrees and urges "President Obama to propose a peace plan and rally the Quartet to impose it." There are other rumblings of this sort in the inkosphere and the blogosphere.A good idea? Stephen Walt isn't so sure we have the right people in place citing twenty years of failed U.S. diplomacy on the Palestine-Israel conflict. He's right about twenty years of failed diplomacy. Is this what Professor Walt means? A picture is worth twenty-five words!So why not step back? Why not support the efforts of others, the Quartet, the Europeans, the Arabs, etc., by holding back on U.S. veto power in the UN, by making it clear to Israel that we are not its ace in the hole, and by telling the Palestinians it's now or never--which it probably is.Here's another ingredient for the stew: "Price for Jonathan Pollard's Release Should Be a Done Deal on Palestine."

Margaret O’Brien Steinfels is a former editor of Commonweal. 

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