Netanyahu: Gloves are off; defiant Hamas says it won’t fold | The Times of Israel   ‘Defense minister declares special situation in the south after army launches operation ‘Protective Edge’ in Gaza; rocket fire resumes Tuesday morning; Obama calls for restraint’

It’s as if nothing has fundamentally changed in all of the past seven decades and the matter is no more advanced today than it has been from the very start. ‘Push’ appears to have given way to ‘shove’ as each side here escalates their responses to moves made by the other, neither of them really knowing how or when such exchanges will eventually stop or if some semblance of ‘normality’ can then be restored to a situation where such a description has rarely, if ever, been applied.

But even ‘normality’ has very little to recommend it if all that’s going to happen is the inevitable lull before yet another storm rips through the region and yet more and heavier blows are delivered with whatever degree of precision can be obtained in circumstances that have always been far from ideal.

There again, could ‘ideal’ circumstances ever be created in conditions where nothing but continual confrontation has long been the only game in town? Would it be conceivable to replace the present contest with something other than what seems to be the only ‘dialogue’ in which either party seems more than willing to converse? – ‘ for those of us with better things to do.’

Arabic and Hebrew may be languages in which there is little in common but basic mathematics is universally recognised and well understood. As such, this might become the one means whereby some sense of order and justice can rescue an otherwise irredeemable situation and prevent a future considered too bleak even for the smallest degree of optimism.