‘IAF strikes terror suspect in Gaza, injuring 2’ Times of Israel: January 19, 2014
‘Ya’alon: US and Europe ‘don’t understand’ Middle East’ Times of Israel : January 19, 2014
‘Livni: We face South Africa-style isolation because of settlements’ Times of Israel: January 18, 2014
‘Kerry said set to present framework deal at end of month’ Times of Israel: January 18, 2014
‘Palestinians to reject Kerry peace plan, launch diplomatic war on Israel’ Times of Israel: January 17, 2014
Judging by the record to date, it would appear that any Israeli-Palestinian peace initiative, left exclusively in the hands of mere mortals like Messrs. Kerry, Abbas, Netanyahu and whoever, will invariably end in discord, recrimination and remarkably little progress. Not entirely their fault, of course, since the central issues on both sides are held to be inviolate and sacrosanct, these having always proved so divisive in the past and are thus very likely to do so well into the future.
A more credible and deliverable peace package would be one where the agency of human beings is kept to an absolute minimum. It must, therefore, amount almost to a done deal in itself, its own internal logic creating a program acceptable, if not at first welcomed, by all parties and bona fide interests.
Here there is scope for accommodating every objection upon which past and present peace plans have so unanimously come to grief.
Israeli security concerns:
No longer looming quite so large because no individual or group would dare attack Israel when such a move could so easily backfire to the permanent detriment of their cause and even their persons. Facilitating universally acknowledged land ownership for the enemy cannot be expected to win too many popularity contests with the home crowd.
Palestinian right of return:
With the prospect of violence much reduced or effectively eliminated from the equation, wheeling and dealing with that right of return business then becomes so much less of a problem.
Palestinian security concerns:
As with those of the Israelis, these would diminish very substantially as the new rules governing Israeli-Palestinian behaviour come into force.
Israeli right of return:
This might also be enabled in tandem with its Palestinian counterpart as a simultaneous quid pro quo.
With peace of a sort having become flavour of the month and with the distinct possibility of extending it far into the future, the issue of what to do about Jerusalem then comes into its own. How that might work out in practice will be subject to debate and, one hopes and even expects, rapid and eventual settlement.
All other items for discussion:
These can be addressed in the appropriate manner and decisions made in light of conditions far more suitable for sustained agreement and the fullest confidence in a tomorrow that might otherwise have become only a sad reflection of so many yesterdays.