Washington - On Thursday, American/Israeli relations hit the skids after the administration's grandiose mini-summit designed to jump-start Middle East peace talks went south.
Secretary of State John Kerry saw his intermixing of millionaires and multinational corporations sprinkled with prominent Palestinian and Israeli leaders as an opportunity to resuscitate Middle East peace talks that remain stalled in the administration's sixth year.
Instead, the festive state department summit became the latest nail in the coffin of Middle East peace after the Palestinian government announced its reunification with Hamas just hours before the diplomacy event was scheduled to begin.Israeli leaders, already skeptical of a shaky nuclear deal cut between Washington and Tehran, aren't likely to agree to anything as long as Hamas has a say in negotiations.
The U.S. was caught flat-footed and Kerry was reportedly red-face furious when Palestinian leaders thanked him for his trouble by announcing an even more festive reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas, the terrorist organization that has launched hundreds of missiles into Israel and conducted countless terrorist activities in the region.
Hamas is listed as a terrorist organization in both the U.S. and the EU and including Hamas in Middle East peace talks would eliminate any possibility of progress since the terrorist organization is virtually at war with Israel.
Hamas and Fatah diplomats waited until it was too late for Mr. Kerry to cancel plans for the mini-summit designed to gin up fresh peace talks since many of his guests were likely airborne.
The surprise Hamas/Fatah reconciliation on the eve of the State Department bash made Kerry look a bit like Thurston Howell, III of Gilligan's Island fame selling corporate shares to castaways who just want to go home.
Kerry's latest foreign policy debacle comes on the heels of Russia's acquisition of Crimea, Ukraine, which sparked a new Cold War complete with Russian Bear Bombers scrambling Western jets on Friday even as Kerry exchanged more belligerent threats with Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin.
As anarchy spreads in Ukraine, pro-Russian rebels seized a bus carrying international monitors yesterday near Slovyansk and Kiev's troops have surrounded the town. Attempts to defuse the situation by threatening Russia with sanctions have had little effect.
As the world's two largest nuclear powers threaten retaliation against each other and Russia threatens to cut off oil and natural gas supplies to Western Europe in response to Western sanctions, U.S. Pres. Barack Obama arrived in Seoul on Friday to news that North Korea may be counting down to a nuclear weapons test.
Kim Jong-un, North Korea's "supreme leader," whom has made needling US diplomats a national pastime regularly test fires ballistic missiles, conducts nuclear testing and commits aggressions against South Korea, where tens of thousands of US troops are stationed.
In the months leading up to Thursday's foreign affairs implosion at the State Department, relations between the U.S. and Israel - it's only functional ally in the Middle East - had deteriorated sharply.
Shortly after the two Palestinian factions announced their reconciliation it was reported that guests were making arrangements from airports to return home rather than attend Kerry's State Department event.