There has been some debate as to whether the the West Bank ‘occupation’ is an occupation or not. Well, it must be one or the other; there can be no middle ground on that question, no warm fuzzy centre.
But, whichever it is, it is almost an irrelevancy when compared to the overall situation.
Is Israel an occupation in itself?
Does its mandate for existence stem from an understandable wish to establish a safe haven for Jews somewhere and at sometime in the last century? Is it justified as a place of return to ancestral homelands, codified in the Torah and specifically authorised by divine precept? Or has the Jewish state been installed, as have so many others, at the instigation of those deriving some material or spiritual benefit from its establishment?
Well, these questions and similar such notions can be argued ad infinitum. What cannot be argued is that this entire matter needs to be salvaged and as soon as possible. And, by salvage, this means finding a solution that does not flat on its face at its first public outing. Too many other initiatives have suffered that fate already.
If nothing fundamental and substantial is done about the situation in the near future, then it can only get much, much worse. Or does anyone really expect that this 65 year-old stalemate can continue on forever?
The real reason why no settlement has been achieved in over six decades and a half is not too complex to grasp. Neither side feels safe in giving away too much or in asking for too little. Thus the double nature of the impasse is confirmed. No forward motion of the ship of state can be detected while everyone aboard remains unsure of what course should be followed. So the craft continues to drift about, buffeted constantly by waves of doubt and uncertainty and never reaching the safety of dry land.
In such a circumstance, it won’t be long before the hull is breached and sea water floods the vessel.
Thus, it would be much better to pick out a star to steer by, cram on full sail and run before the wind. Awaiting the certainty of a watery grave in the middle of nowhere is not to be recommended.
But which star would be the one to chose? There seem to be so many.