‘Police clash with Palestinians outside Damascus Gate’

‘9 arrested after pelting officers with stones, as Jewish visitors flood Old City for annual Jerusalem Day celebration’

Police clash with Palestinians outside Damascus Gate | The Times of Israel

A minor incident as incidents go in this part of the world but certainly indicative of an underlying malaise, one that has cost both sides so much in death, pain, treasure and suffering over the last 66 years and more. In all those years, Israelis and Palestinians have engaged in an unremitting struggle to control and dominate their small part of the region, a region that has seen more than its share of the troubles and problems that, even today, still afflict and affect the whole of mankind.

And so, can anything be done to end this longstanding and contentious dispute? How can two enemy camps, each steeped in the blood of each other’s dead, ever come to terms with the enormity of their crimes and their total failure to find some measure of real justification, no matter how small, for all that has happened thus far?

The short answer is that they can’t, at least not by themselves. They can’t move towards peace because peace has never been allowed to move towards them. But how is peace to be moved at all? Surely it’s always been an objective, something that has to be sought out, having no independent will of its own, no ability to impose itself upon a situation where its presence has never once really registered.

Peace need not be the ever static counterpart of conflict, the permanent wallflower who is invited to the dance but so often leaves alone and long before the band has stopped playing. Given the proper incentive, peace can be persuaded to take to the floor and outperform every other dancer in the place. It’s just a question of having the right type of music on tap.

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