The Middle East has been going through times of more than considerable change of late. Events speed by and prevailing conditions give way to others with increasing rapidity. Old alliances fade while new ones take their place; boundaries and spheres of influence are redrawn from criteria formed by ever shifting forces and circumstance.
And yet so much still stays just the same as ever.
The Israel-Palestine struggle, now officially in its 66th year, lurches from one crisis to the next, never stable long enough to reach any mutual understanding, knowing only that further conflict is ordained and that this is how it must be because thus has it always been.
The ideal solution in so volatile a situation would entail a complete break in this pattern, a disconnect in its continuity, a clear line of demarcation drawn between all that was before and that which is yet to come.
But the past is not so easily dismissed; it insists that its voice be heard, a constant reminder to the present, thereby preserving itself in a myriad different ways as it shapes the future to reflect its own imperfect image.
If yesterday is allowed to remain in too much control over what tomorrow brings, then progress towards resolution in certain matters of great moment will be slow, hesitant and unsure. For the history of the region to advance beyond its permanent, pressure cooker stage of tension and violence, it becomes imperative to isolate past and present time zones. And to do so in a manner where much of the heat that’s generated is put to a far better and more productive use.
Only then can any real measure of progress finally be achieved.
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