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Reporter's notebook: Awaiting the birth of the Mideast peace baby

By Ben Wedeman, CNN
July 23, 2013 -- Updated 1220 GMT (2020 HKT)
  • Wedeman: I have dubious fortune of being in Jerusalem awaiting the birth of Mideast peace baby
  • Gestation period between a few months and three centuries after Judgment Day, Wedeman says
  • The midwife, the United States, is easily distracted by domestic troubles, says Wedeman
  • "If ... the Mideast peace baby is delivered, there is a high probability it won't be a normal birth"

Jerusalem (CNN) -- While my esteemed colleagues are covering the extraordinary birth of an ordinary baby to a young, privileged British couple, I have the dubious fortune of being in Jerusalem awaiting the birth of the Mideast peace baby.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has just finished up his sixth visit to the Middle East, and announced that the birthing process of Middle East peace is about to begin.

Israelis, Palestinians react to agreement on resuming peace talks

The gestation period, however, is somewhere between a few months and three centuries after Judgment Day, and we've gone through many false labors since the Oslo Peace accords were signed in the White House Rose Garden way back in September 1993.

The chances of a stillbirth are perilously high. The parents can't stand one another. They constantly squabble, often violently, with deadly consequences. This may be because they are in the process of a very difficult, decades-old divorce, and despite the presence of an army of lawyers offering an ocean of advice, they simply cannot agree on a separation of property.

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And as we, the press, wait for the birth, there is a high danger to life, limb, and mental health as we wait outside the clinic to report on the latest angry screams and fist fights on and around the bloodstained delivery table. No one is passing out ice cream to the reporters, or posing for pictures, or showing the least bit of interest in the endless drama inside.

Of course, there are innumerable differences between the sagas of the royal baby and of the Middle East peace process.

The midwife, the United States, has attention deficit disorder, and is easily distracted by her own domestic troubles. She barges into the delivery room with a manic sense of purpose, makes a lot of noise and encourages speeches, then disappears as quickly as she arrives, while the unhappy couple goes at one another tooth and nail. And although the labor pains are intense, the baby shows no inclination to show its head.

And if, God willing, the Mideast peace baby is delivered, there is a high probability it won't be a normal birth. And there is a good chance one of the parents, or both of them, will decide they simply hate their offspring and disown the poor little waif.

One more thing: the maintenance of this hopefully soon-to-be born Mideast peace baby is wildly expensive. Not as expensive as the alternative -- no peace baby -- but expensive nonetheless.

So don't hold your breath waiting for news from this delivery room.

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