News item:

In what would have seemed an extremely bizarre move only twenty or so years ago, the US is reported to be mulling over the prospect of supplying specifications concerning its missile defence capabilities to the Russians. Even today, this approach, aimed at further reducing tensions between these two nuclear superpowers, is still something of an eye-opener.

But, in what is, hopefully, a more enlightened and engaged century, this offer might go some way towards advancing a relationship that has improved significantly, certainly ever since the darkest days of the Cold War.

Could such a similar scenario be replicated in Arab-Israeli circles and, if so, what would be the circumstances? And motivations?

  1. Each side would be presented with the capability of visiting the very worst form of ‘devastation’ upon the other. Hence the need for establishing avenues of mutual communication, for speaking softly and bringing down all previous levels of rhetoric, threat and violence.
  2. It would involve creating a unique vulnerability, one common to both groups and against which there could be only one rather unusual form of defence.
  3. In seeking to prevent this deliberately engineered chink in their armour from being exploited by the opposition, non-aggression soon becomes the defining characteristic for everyone concerned. Only in this manner will it be possible for such ‘devastation’ to be successfully avoided and reasons found for easing tensions down to an all-time low.
  4.  Under these strange conditions, peace, or something very much like it, then comes to dominate in a region that has known nothing but conflict for generations.

It is often the ‘dagger of the mind’ that strikes the deepest fear of all.

And the deepest fear of all may hold the one and only key to salvation here.