It may be considered something of a given that the average Israeli, along with the average Palestinian, would like nothing better than to bid a final farewell to their 65 years of conflict together.

And, on the face of it, the peace initiative now formally beginning its long travail in Washington today is aiming for just such an outcome.

But, as everyone knows, we’ve been down this road so many times before and prospects for a successful final-status agreement still cannot be said to look all that promising. On every other such occasion, no great cause for optimism or rejoicing has arisen.

And the reason for this?

There exists no unity of purpose between the two sides here, no alignment of policies to pursue a common destiny; each principal in the matter is guided by its own fixed star and will not wander far from the path that each heading dictates.

All of which does not help if the destination of both disputants is meant to meet up at one and the same mutually agreed point in time and space.

But, although it may always be beyond our power to move the stars, no such limitation exists as to our choice of battlefield.

Who is to say that the ground upon which any battle is to be fought these days need be a real one? In this, the 21st century, virtual battlefields, in their untold millions, span the globe. So just one more should not present much of a problem for any of us.

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Could this really be our final battlefield, the ultimate test for humanity in what is so often an extremely inhumane world?

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