WASHINGTON — Israeli President Shimon Peres once said that peace could be likened to a horse galloping under a window. A true leader is one who has the courage to jump out the window and hop on the horse’s back and gallop with it. This is a one-time, one-off chance, Peres said. If you hop on history’s back, you get to ride with it. If you stay in the room, you are left behind.
At some point over the next few months, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) will have to decide whether they are going to jump out the window and hop on the back of the galloping horse or whether they will remain alone in the room. The horse that will swiftly gallop under their window has a name: John Kerry. The US secretary of state's speech on Dec. 7 at the Saban Forum made it clear — for those who have yet to understand — that he is the driving force behind the current and intense round of talks in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Although Kerry’s speech followed the interview by American-Israeli billionaire Haim Saban with US President Barack Obama, and although the latter was armed with his usual engaging charm, it was Kerry, to my mind, who stole the thunder.