About the Show

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

On the Next Episode of The Lead

The latest on national protests. Plus, what went wrong in Yemen rescue attempt?

The latest on national protests. Plus, what went wrong in Yemen rescue attempt?

July 23rd, 2014
05:36 PM ET

Could current Mideast conflict have been avoided?

(CNN) –  As the bloody battles pushed up death tolls on both sides, world powers held a flurry of diplomatic meetings Wednesday aimed at halting the fighting in Gaza.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with Israeli and Palestinian leaders as well as U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, while several Middle Eastern nations worked to try to win Hamas' agreement for an Egyptian-led cease-fire.

If this on-again, off-again diplomacy all sounds terribly familiar, that's because it is.

But what if – against all odds – the U.S. had finally managed to broker a deal between the two sides?

A two-state solution was closer than most people think, before everything fell apart, because of back-stabbing, pettiness and distrust, according to a report in The New Republic.

President Barack Obama's national security adviser Susan Rice at one point exploded at Abbas' negotiating team - saying: "You Palestinians can never see the (expletive) big picture."

The authors of that report, The New Republic's Ben Birnbaum and Amir Tibon, join CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper" to discuss.

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