In the contract as it has been written down and codified over nearly seven decades, Israelis are the party of the first part, Palestinians are the party of the second part and all the rest of the world is the party of the third part.

It does no good now if the first party is complaining about tactics used by the second one and vice versa. The other party is expected to utilise whatever it deems necessary to enhance its position and further its own agenda. Much the same is allowed for either party should it be their wish to exercise those options.

As far as the third party is concerned, it’s still a beauty contest and, at the moment, neither side is looking especially glamorous although the second party does seem to have the sympathy vote very much in the bag.

If the first or second party really wants to burnish its image and begin looking like one of the good guys from now on, then it really will have to start pulling something extra out of the hat.

Now this particular hat has had a lot pulled out of it over the years, much of which has swayed the audience, aka the third party, one way or the other. But that same audience has long grown weary of what it’s seeing and now wishes for the first, second or even both parties to reveal the twist in the tale they’re telling.

And, if there isn’t one, then one may have to be provided.

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In these fast changing times, image is everything and all parties would do well to keep that thought firmly in mind while contemplating what’s next on their list of things to do.