With Gaza war ostensibly over, Israelis ask what’s next? | The Times of Israel   ‘Some observers are sure that operation’s best possible outcome is a time-out, while others wonder how the Strip will be demilitarized

Well, the show does seem to have ended for the moment. But the interim result can hardly be classed as a shining example of good triumphant over evil. Nor can it be viewed as the other way round. Instead, and much as everyone might have wished it otherwise, nothing has been resolved, no solution reached, no epiphany encountered and not the slightest prospect of any established, genuine peace can yet be glimpsed, not even on the most distant of horizons.

At a cost of, perhaps, two thousand lives and many times that number of injured, a short, mutually agreed withdrawal from the battlefield has been arranged at long last. What happens thereafter is now anybody’s guess.

And therein, perhaps, lies the one factor that has done most to keep matters remaining much as they have always been, no discernible progress made towards a final settlement and certainly little likelihood of any permanent coexistence among so disparate a group of peoples.

Uncertainty about what is really going on in the other side’s mind has tended to bring too many fears to the surface, so much so that only the most tentative steps towards peace can ever be managed. These are then never quite enough to go anywhere near the distance required.

Is it time therefore to take a giant leap into unfamiliar territory? To move forward as never before, to seek out a middle ground, reaching for a very final accord that now occupies a place halfway between fate and destiny.

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