Saying “no” seems to be the default position for both sides in dealing with the thorny subject of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. This is because, for one set of leaders and their followers, any firm commitment to a policy that the opposition might put forward must have, at minimum, an equally substantial quid-pro-quo to ‘balance out the books.’
Since the overall situation offers no means of support for such a delicate balancing act, it should come as no surprise that so inherently unstable an arrangement has never once materialised; talks generally fall flat on their face at this stage and all serious discussion then grinds to a halt.
The conclusion to draw from this is to find a framework in which instability is no longer such a constantly disabling factor, one holding every peace initiative hostage to the slightest adverse comment, interpretation or turn of phrase.
Here, one way or the other, the prospect for some final settlement becomes a reality. And, with all that’s happened, isn’t that what matters?