While one may applaud the industry with which Israeli forces are attempting to locate and rescue three kidnapped teenagers, their methods do seem somewhat reminiscent of a headless chicken act. Of course they have to be doing something and that something appears to consist of shaking the tree so vigorously that these three young people will eventually fall out of it and land at their feet.

It may work that way but there’s a certain predictable quality here that lends an unprofessional tone to the whole operation. But can there ever be a better way of handling these situations, one that includes forces other than those of ‘boots on the ground’ and a level of coercion guaranteed to make matters so much worse than they already are?

Maybe, on this occasion, the tried and tested methods of former times can accomplish their task and all will be well. But always there is tomorrow to consider and that has a habit of demanding that some very old problems be addressed by newer and, most likely, far less conventional solutions.

And yet another ‘headless chicken act’ will certainly not be one of these.

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