Even though they might fervently wish it otherwise, Israelis simply cannot bring themselves to trust Palestinians in matters where peace between both communities is concerned. Much the same is true the other way round and for reasons well known to one and all.

Without some truly radical and yet common frame of reference, neither side can be made 100% certain that the other’s motives are anything but honourable and well-intentioned. And if this degree of certainty is always going to be absent, then no matter what discussions or negotiations are entered into, nothing of any real value will ever come of them.

So what to do? Rather than allow the use of aggressive and deadly force to continue as a regrettable but all too frequent tool in the arsenal of each protagonist, a complete reversal of that mindset may be required to champion an alternate viewpoint and the installation of a brand-new strategy.

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Here the scenario becomes one in which refraining from violence morphs into the most fearsome weapon available, a means of gaining victory at the expense of an enemy still fixated on doing things the old-fashioned way. But that enemy learns quickly and is moved to respond in much the same manner. The result is a willingness to deploy and use what might be considered something of an oxymoron, a ‘peace weapon.’ This, in turn, culminates in a sort of undeclared armistice, a permanent cessation of all forms of activity judged to be physically and even mentally harmful to those on both sides.

Under such conditions, that ‘certainly’ now becomes a well established reality, a commonly-held belief that no one would be crazy enough to still engage in disruptive practices when these might serve only to extend and further the interests of the opposition.

This would give everyone the perfect excuse to insist on matters being handled in a far more constructive and expeditious fashion, providing the one and only opportunity, perhaps, to buckle down and thrash out some better and more meaningful arrangement than that currently in place.

The alternative is to keep on handing over more and more money and armaments to people who, in all probability, resent receiving such handouts and would much prefer to resolve their differences without the dubious assistance of such poisoned chalices. .