Since the Six-Day War in 1967, American presidents have tried long and hard to encourage peace in the Middle East. After he helped ink the Camp David Accords, former President Jimmy Carter insightfully warned that peace would not come easily. "The questions that have brought warfare and bitterness to the Middle East for the last thirty years will not be settled overnight," he said. Now, six presidencies and thirty years later, lasting peace has yet to be achieved.
President Barack Obama’s administration scored big points recently simply for bringing Israeli and Palestinian officials back to the table to negotiate peace; this is the first time they have returned for talks in 20 months. However, is this diplomatic energy well spent?
For more on the theater, mechanics, hopes and reality of peace in the Middle East, we speak with The Guardian's Middle East editor, Ian Black, and Robert Malley, the Mid-East program director at the International Crisis Group. Robert played a big role in President Clinton’s 2000 attempts towards peace in the region when he served as President Clinton’s Special Assistant for Arab-Israeli Affairs.