Mitchell failed to inspire the Palestinians and Israelis to embrace their long-term interests over short-term political itches and he lost the faith and support of his colleagues inside the administration. To some degree this was inevitable.
The village of Budrus effectively organized a campaign of nonviolent resistance against Israel's plans to route its "Separation Barrier" through their village lands. Budrus is a compelling account of this successful experiment.
The reconciliation agreement between Fatah and Hamas -- should it withstand the test of time -- offers Israel and Hamas the opportunity to face what they have denied each other for nearly three decades.
Obama, Netanyahu and various Palestinian officials are scrambling to act as if they have some plan to move the peace process forward, when in fact, most of it is insincere posturing designed to pour concrete on what has thus far been failure.
The United States should support the unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state. It is time for Obama to deliver on the promise he made in Cairo to use his authority not to defend the deadly status quo but to end it.
Of all the icons that the iconoclastic Jon Stewart chooses to smash, the one that gets media figures in the most trouble is the infallibility of Israel, which is why Stewart is all alone out there. But he won't be for long.
That was the implicit imbalance behind the failed vote in the UN that would have described as "illegal" Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, while reiterating demands that all settlement activity should cease.
As the Obama administration tries to position itself as a friend to the increasingly empowered people of the region, it would do well to avoid looking unwilling to hold countries accountable for ignoring human rights concerns.
The final positions were not that far apart, the movement was constant and in the right direction, and the sides spoke to each other not as irascible enemies as partners in negotiation. Pundits-be-damned, peace was possible.