Obama’s diplomatic timetable is different from those of Netanyahu or Abbas.
The U.S. president’s term is confined to four years, at the end of which he may be reelected.
He is not dependent on a coalition in which the majority of members oppose diplomatic steps, as is Netanyahu, or in legalistic tricks keeping him in power after his term has ended, as is Abbas.
That leaves Obama time to work determinedly, yet gradually.
This is also Mitchell’s style: another meeting, another discussion, another preparation, all aimed primarily at building trust and bringing both sides closer to the bigger decisions to be made later.
The Americans absorbed the barbs traded between Israel and the Palestinians on missed opportunities and the failure of the peace process, and simply continued in their work.
That’s why we must view the New York summit as a step which could lead to renewed negotiations, and not as a dramatic event that will determine once and for all whether peace will ever come.