The Madrid peace conference in 1991 to launch comprehensive Arab-Israeli negotiations was a diplomatic triumph. The 2007 Annapolis conference relaunched peace-making and a new, well-prepared three track security, economic, and political process on pre-negotiated terms of reference just a few years after the violent second Intifada. These were important moments—historically, and diplomatically.
Despite best intentions, the 2017 Paris peace conference was neither historic nor constructive. The meeting was both poorly timed and ill-prepared, such that the two main parties—the Israelis and Palestinians—stayed away. Even Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was otherwise occupied. The absence of the two main protagonists to the conflict was the least of it. The meeting simply underlined outdated thinking that, left uncorrected, will harm future international diplomatic efforts to deliver peace to the Holy Land.