This is indicative of everyone’s inability to come to grips with the overall situation and the multitude of problems that this failure then generates.
So two questions: Can there yet be some means by which the conflict can be stopped in its tracks and, if indeed there is, how soon could such a process be up and running?
After 66 years in contention and with more than twenty thousand dead, the Israeli-Palestinian struggle today appears just as intractable as ever. Why is this?
All the methods and strategies tried so far have been found wanting; no amount of concessions, compensation, land transfer or prisoner release seems able to move matters forward. Even the most tenuous prospects for sustainable peace remain much too distant for serious consideration.
But is this because one prime factor is still missing from the equation? Can this vital element now be located or established in sufficient quantity to bring about closure to an otherwise insoluble puzzle? And, if so, then just what is this unique piece of the jigsaw, from whence comes this component and how can it make for the fullest extraction from so perilous and longstanding a predicament?
The elusive item in question is known as ‘mutual trust.’ And there simply has never been enough of it to go round and thus no way to deliver on any of the peace initiatives produced so far. Not even this latest one.
And without some really strong and stable basis for having trust in each other, both sides are prevented from departing the battlefield with honour intact and the highest confidence that no return to it will ever be needed.
So where do we go from here? If trust is such an absolute requirement in the matter, then in what manner can it be installed within each set of antagonists? Surely the extremely polarised nature of their dispute must defeat all efforts to make this happen, efforts forever doomed to fail.
The answer, as it turns out, requires but a simple reversal of the status quo, an upending of the traditional approach that is generally employed.
Even if confidence in the other’s intentions and future conduct may well be virtually non-existent, can the same be said of members of the home team? They, it must be safely assumed, will act and work in accordance with their own best interests. And, if circumstances are so configured that those interests must be irrevocably harmed by their undertaking of aggressive or violent activity, then, inevitably, ‘peace’ has to become the default position, the one to be held in common by all those concerned.
Thereafter, the concept can be exported to the entire world, many parts of which might very much welcome a technique of such proven worth..
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‘When you have eliminated the impossible, Watson, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.’