‘Though expectations are low for any breakthrough on Kerry’s trip, his diplomacy represents some of the Obama administration’s most sustained efforts for ending more than six decades of conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.’…… Times of Israel April 6, 2013.
If expectations are indeed as low as reported, then it must be assumed that the present round of shuttle diplomacy will achieve little in terms of actual peace and is aimed more at a get-to-know-you, touchy-feely approach to the problem. This is fine in principle but it does call to mind the many previous occasions where much the same techniques were used, techniques that failed every time and in virtually all respects.
Can we learn anything from these failures before we consign them to the copious dustbin of history?
What was missing from them that so precluded any chances of a lasting peace deal?
Why has no real progress been made even after so much serious political activity and economic largess was brought to bear upon the subject? And from all manner of external and internal sources.
The answer may turn out to be a surprisingly simple one.
Too much effort has been centred on bringing all sides together for the purposes of hammering out a peace formula. Perhaps a much better result might be realised if everyone can be afforded what is, in effect, the supreme get-out clause, an opportunity to disengage and distance themselves from the conflict forever. Then it would only remain for far less coercive strategies to determine how the entire matter might be resolved.
Even the most cursory analysis of warfare, both ancient and modern, establishes that those long wearied by combat will still continue to fight until it becomes patently obvious that further resistance is clearly detrimental to themselves and their cause. On rare occasions, this has been known to operate in the interests of everyone concerned. Only when certain defeat and utter ruin is staring them in the face do these combatants then take it upon themselves to seek out much less violent methods to settle their differences.
Mr. Kerry’s mission may be doomed to failure from the very start, a circumstance encountered by many before him. That’s not to say his quest for peace has no purpose. But, if no positive consensus can be reached, a default plan, a holding pattern of sorts, might then be pressed into service, one where this 65 year-old stalemate transforms into another with an almost limitless potential for peace; that is if those more immediately involved can stand the strain and go the distance.
Even a child could do this. Actually, it might not be such a bad idea for children to become an integral part of the procedure.
The future is always more theirs than it is ours.