Peace with security.   Tzipi Livni, J Street Conference, Sat. 28.09.2013

The sentiment is certainly an understandable one from Israel’s point of view and neighbouring countries might also see advantages for themselves in such a development. But the situation, as it stands, is too far gone for signatures on any number of agreements to change matters for the better.

The fundamental problem remains the same. Any peace deal, even if it’s at all possible, will always demand a considerable degree of climbdown from both sides.

None of the parties involved can expect full accommodation of their stated positions and the amount by which such expectations must fall short only makes the conflict that much more likely to continue.

The best that could be hoped for at this stage is a type of holding action, something that is not really a settled peace but neither is it an out-and-out conflict. Now if this arrangement could be adopted as an interim measure, the path towards some properly negotiated and mutually acceptable outcome might then be travelled without too many bumps and stoppages along the way.

The alternative is deal with the matter in the rather customary and predictable manner that has been used so many times in the past. And has failed on every single one of them.

If 65 years of failure has anything to teach us, it must surely be that some new and more dynamic methods are needed if that which lies ahead is not to be the same as that which has gone before.