While some officials think the UK is in a good position to help kick-start talks, intractable issues may conspire to thwart hopes.
Moments of opportunity for change and breakthrough have come and gone in the long struggle for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
The stalemate is so calcified now that phrases like “Middle East peace process”, “Israel-Palestinian conflict” and “two-state solution” cause many eyes to glaze over these days.
Daily violence and regular military escalations rarely make the headlines now.
But are we at a moment of inflection?
Gulf Arab countries are doing deals with the Israelis, Donald Trump is pushing a plan that has traction only in the absence of anything else, and the Palestinians are running out of money after cutting flows with Israel to protest against the Trump plan.
Into this comes British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab. He has held meetings with both Israeli and Palestinian leaders in Jerusalem and Ramallah.
Israeli, American and British officials believe the UK is in a good position use its influence to kick-start talks with the Palestinian leadership, who are increasingly seen as stubborn and losing relevance.
The status quo is deadlock. For the Palestinians, it’s one in which most live under an illegal occupation, behind a barrier, with few rights, no democracy, an impotent Palestinian leadership and an oppressive Israeli rule. An apartheid system is how Palestinians see it.
For Israelis, who have the overwhelming upper hand in all this, the status quo is perfectly livable, with the exception of southern communities under threat of rockets from Gaza.
There is political paralysis among Palestinians. They are understandably intransigent in insisting, for decades now, that they deserve their own state on the 1967 partition lines – a proper contiguous country with territory. It’s a position that is consistent with international law backed by UN resolutions.
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Enter Donald Trump with his own ideas. His “deal of the century” peace plan, unveiled in January, was predictably weighted heavily towards the Israelis.
It offers a Palestinian state but not in the real sense of the phrase. It proposes disparate Palestinian enclaves and less land than they’d have on the 1967 plan.
No Israeli settlers would be required to leave West Bank land and Jerusalem would formally be recognised as the capital of the Jewish State of Israel. The capital of the future State of Palestine would be an area to the east of Jerusalem.
For Mr Trump and the Israelis, under the nationalist leadership of Benjamin Netanyahu, it is the only deal on offer. For the Palestinians it is a non-starter.
And so the two sides don’t speak. The Palestinians refuse to engage with a plan they see as the ultimate imposition of an apartheid system.
The more pragmatic view is that the Trump plan, however unacceptable to Palestinians – and much of the rest of the world – injects new impetus into the stalemate.
However hard it might be for Palestinians, western diplomats here in Jerusalem and at embassies in Tel Aviv suggest that the Palestinians must consider seeing the world as it is now.
They argue that doesn’t mean surrendering to Israeli power or discarding all their deep principles.
But it does mean a pragmatic and conciliatory stance is required to prevent continued stalemate; one in which the Palestinians always lose.
Dominic Raab has an affiliation with this part of the world. As a student he spent a semester at a university in the West Bank. And his father was a Jewish Czech refugee who fled the Nazis with his family in 1938 and came to Britain at the age of six.
Fewer and fewer western diplomats and politicians are engaged deeply with this old struggle. But Mr Raab sees the issue as one for his top drawer.
He is committed to the two-state solution, which isn’t properly provided for in Mr Trump’s plan, but he also believes in a need for Palestinian pragmatism.
The Israelis think the British are in a position to build a bridge between them and the Palestinians. But they don’t see it as a bridge in which the two sides can meet in the middle.
They see the Palestinians walking across it, to their position. That won’t happen.
The latest British engagement in a problem they helped to create might generate some momentum, but don’t bet on it.