While a positive view of the current I/P peace talks may turn out to be of the good, old-fashioned wishful thinking variety, any degree of progress must be welcomed and, even if none can be claimed, such an outcome should furnish lessons for what happens next in the aftermath.
Worst case scenario: Negotiations irretrievably break down, each side blames the other, nothing can be salvaged from the initiative and any future discussions will have to be started all over again from the very beginning. And this may happen after another three years have gone by.
In those three years, will the situation get any better or worse than it is now?
No one really knows but the damage done to Israeli-Palestinian relations will be considerable; a marked deterioration in prospects for peace can then be expected and three more years may still not be enough time to mount yet another foray against issues that have defied resolution for the best part of seven decades.
The real problem here may be the all-or-nothing approach that peace negotiations tend to employ. Half a peace – or half a war – is not considered to be an ideal outcome. But, if something like this can be established, the next round of peace talks might very well produce much better results.
And take place far sooner than in three years time.
As the saying has it: Half a loaf is better than none.
And five-sixths of one is even better still.