Once again it has been demonstrated how vital U.S. diplomacy is in keeping the Middle East peace process moving. It wasn't until Secretary of State Madeleine Albright came on the scene . . . and began a round of intense shuttle diplomacy that stalled negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians cranked up again. . . .
Without U.S. involvement, Palestinian distrust of Israeli intentions -- heightened by former Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's duplicity -- makes progress toward a final settlement extremely difficult. . . . Undoubtedly, there will be more breakdowns in the future. The truly difficult decisions have yet to be tackled. The United States will be needed to help reach agreements on the thorny issues involving borders, recognition of a Palestinian state, the status of Jerusalem, the return of refugees and water rights, as well as access to the West Bank and Gaza. . . .
Albright modestly described herself as "just the handmaiden" of the parties to the Wye agreement. Her role has been much more important. . . .