As political theatre, September’s Israeli-Palestinian clash at the UN proved to be an anticlimax. In dueling speeches before the UN General-Assembly, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Chairman Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestine Liberation Organization ran in place. Abbas gave a stirring speech making the Palestinian case for statehood before an audience at pains to acknowledge it. Netanyahu left the podium as he arrived–his hand “stretched out in peace” according to principles that guarantee failure. President Barack Obama’s remarks confirmed something that has been clear for many months: The U.S. peacemaking machine is out of ideas and energy.