Mission improbable: Kushner trek begins U.S.-brokered peace talks

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

As Jared Kushner walked into his most consequential meeting yet, in his Middle East peace mission, the Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas said: "We know that things are difficult and complicated, but nothing is impossible in the face of good efforts."

Sounds nice. But a conga line of diplomatic grandees have tried this for decades before Kushner came onto the scene. All failed, and the gulf between the Israelis and Palestinians only widened through the Obama years. American efforts were poisoned, among other factors, by unmanageable levels of toxicity between Obama and Israeli PM Bibi Netanyahu.