I've been following the developments around US Secretary of State John Kerry, who has now departed Israel after his separate meetings with Israeli and Palestinian Leaders.
There were not a lot of expectations set for this meet, as Israel's Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu is focused upon Iran and it's nuclear deal with the World Powers.
There is a large amount of skepticism circulating because given the developments with Tehran, Jerusalem and Washington and even the Palestinians in Ramallah know that no negotiations will end in the nine-months that have been allotted.
Mr. Netanyahu and other Israeli representatives went out of their way to seize the opportunity to demonstrate that there is no crisis with the US (over the agreement with Iran, nor in the diplomatic negotiations with the Palestinians).
The Israeli government needed to do this due to it's outspoken objection to the World Power's deal with Iran and for it's continued plans to build more settlements in the West Bank and around the demographically Arab areas of Jerusalem.
Concerning Peace with the Palestinians, Mr. Kerry believes that if he pushs the security issue it will lead to a breakthrough.
He presented Israeli sanctioned security plans for a final status agreement – and the Palestinians flat-out rejected them. He then warned the Palestinians that no deal will be signed unless it enhances Israel's security.
The European Union backs Mr. Kerry's touting of the Israeli plan, as the EU said that if negotiations were to fail between the parties, they (the European Union) will consider halting aid to the Palestinian Authority.
But senior officials also stated that they are being even handed in their 'threats' as that the EU will label Israeli settlement products as well.
Wrapping things up before his departure, Mr. Kerry said that Israel and the Palestinians are closer to peace than they have ever been before.
Doesn't feel like it on the street – but perhaps we could give the Secretary the benefit of the doubt… we could use a bit of optomism.
Middle East Correspondent