I recently visited the United States where Middle East negotiation remains a leading news item. My sympathy goes out to US Secretary of State John Kerry as he attempts to steer a course toward a workable resolution in this historic battleground.
The difficulty in this case is that the Mediator appears to want settlement more than the parties.
Successful mediation depends on the desire of both parties to really seek a resolution, and a willingness to compromise to achieve this.
I was involved in a session a couple of years ago where the parties appeared genuinely interested in ending their dispute, but legal counsel was not fully on board. An already complex situation became a great deal more complicated.
Mediation can save time and money while allowing parties to stay in control throughout the process. It can, however, only succeed if everyone comes to the table wishing a settlement.
It seems the Middle East will have to wait a bit longer…