Here we go again. This week, Israeli-Palestinian negotiations will begin in Israel and the West Bank.
Having participated in my own fair share of these kinds of negotiations over the years, I wouldn't presume to discount Secretary of State John Kerry's effort. But I also wouldn't get my hopes up.
In 2001, Secretary of State Colin Powell assigned me to assist Gen. Anthony Zinni, who had just been given a mission impossible: Negotiate a cease-fire between Yasser Arafat and Ariel Sharon in the middle of the second intifada.
I asked Zinni straight out why he wanted to risk ruining a brilliant career on a goal he couldn't possibly achieve. He replied that he loved hopeless causes. In that case, I told him, he'd come to the right place.
Will these be the "Star Trek" negotiations and go where no man or woman has ever gone before? It's hard to say.