Extolling the virtues of a ceasefire in the Gaza war that collapsed barely two hours after it took effect, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry inadvertently highlighted the root cause of the failure of international efforts to silence the guns in the Palestinian territory and resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
In death, Staff Sergeant Nissim Sean Carmeli embodies the deep fears, distrust and dehumanization of the other that has exploded into massive bloodshed in Gaza, threatens to spark another uprising on the West Bank, and makes achievement of even a temporary Israeli-Palestinian ceasefire an almost impossible task.
A Greater Israel cannot be anything but an apartheid state, and exclusionary ethnic nationalism of this sort is not sustainable in the 21st century. Israel's Arab subjects will eventually demand equal rights, and as former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert warned back in 2007, once that happens, "the state of Israel is finished."
Admittedly, the situation at the moment looks grim: After months of negotiations, a dozen personal visits from the secretary, and countless trips between Jerusalem and Ramallah, Israel is announcing new settlements and reneging on its agreement to release a small number of Palestinian prisoners this weekend.