‘Defense minister reportedly trashes Kerry, peace talks’

‘PM: Abbas’s hard-line speech a sign he’s not ready to talk’

‘Abbas hardens his stance on Palestinian ‘right of return”

Times of Israel: January 13,14, 2014


Finding a way out of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is never going to be easy. Or is it?

Ending the conflict may require looking at the problem from an angle hitherto unknown, untried or untested since the whole affair began.

At the moment, both sets of politicians seem to be talking at and not to each other. This has been the pattern for so long that I can’t remember a time when it wasn’t always so. And I’ve been around from the very start of this business.

The entire situation has been locked into a self-perpetuating downward spiral of move and counter-move ever since 1948. So difficult has it been for anyone to stop or even reduce its rate of descent that now, without some immensely strong and stabilising force to counteract the trend, no actual peace settlement seems remotely possible, at least not on this side of eternity.

So what to do?

1. Hang in there and watch the likes of Mr. Abbas and Mr. Netanyahu score points off each other and argue their respective cases for forever and a day?

2. Wait for some trial of strength between the opposing forces to decide the matter once and for all?

3. Continue with whatever peace process is currently in session and hope something positive manages to emerge?

4. Dismiss all further attempts to reconcile the combatants and view the matter as a lost cause, the search for peace a waste of time and that whatever happens is somehow preordained and inevitable.

Not exactly the most enticing list of options. But then, what others can there be?


Sometimes you have to push the envelope really hard before it finally opens up to let you out.