Nobody doubts the destructive impact of settlement activity. It prejudges and predetermines the outcome of negotiations, humiliates Palestinians and sends unmistakable signals that Israel has other agendas to pursue. And if we're talking about the failure of Kerry's effort to secure a relatively meaningless extension of the talks, I don't doubt the explanation. But let's be clear: Kerry's peace process didn't fail primarily because of settlements. It has been on life support from the beginning, and here's why.