On several occasions, I've noted the insightful musings of QED. His lates post is worth citing in full:
Over the past couple of bloody years of conflict between Israelis and Palestinians,
there have been quite a number of efforts on the part of well-meaning people, famous and not-so famous, to bring peace to this area. Such efforts have often been given media attention, culminating with the recent attempt by Mr. Richard Gere to call on the Palestinians to vote in the upcoming Palestinian elections. These efforts have, as far as I can tell, have had negligible, if any, effect on events here. This is why I would like to request that this constant flow of goody-goody peace initiatives cease. They are at most a joke, a curiosity, a temporary repreive from the real and difficult events here. At worst, they divert attention and hope from the real and messy process of give and take conducted by Israelis and Palestinians to reach, if not peace, then at least some sort of modus vivendi.
I make this appeal not only as an Israeli citizen, but as an aspiring historian who has read a thing or two about well-meaning but clueless individuals who tried at one time or another to bring about a lasting peace between Jews and Arabs. The list is long: Avraham Kalvarisky, Judah Magnes, Martin Buber, Folke Bernadotte and others. All, without exception, came away empty-handed. At most, they served as fodder for partisans who aim to 'prove' that there might have been peace if only the plans of so-and-so had been implemented.
The people who achieved actually something were not the well-wishers, but the hard-nosed and knowledgable professionals such as William Quandt, Henry Kissinger and Ralph Bunche. Ultimately, however, peace or cease-fires were achieved when it was in the interest of both sides to do so, regardless of outside help. The world does not lack problems which you can help stop or reduce - AIDS, illiteracy, poverty. These are worthy causes over which you can have some effect. The Israel- Palestinian conflict is not.