‘US official: Obama blames settlements for failed talks’

‘President still sees time in his term for peace push, NY Times reports, but wants initiative to come from parties themselves’

After eight months of meetings, discussions and haggling followed then by weeks of finger pointing, accusations of bad faith and sundry other setbacks, it would appear that American resolve in promoting peace between Palestinians and Israelis is very much on the wane. In a somewhat desperate attempt to salvage the matter, the call has gone out for initiatives to be sourced and put forward by those in dispute, the remedy for their quarrel now deemed no longer within the remit of an exhausted US foreign policy.

But what common approach could Palestinians and Israelis possibly agree upon as a way of dealing with all their deep-seated and longstanding issues, the ones that have always brought violence and condemnation down about their heads?

Possibilities:

1.  A very public kiss-and-make-up conference at UN headquarters; the regional equivalent of a group hug, one extolling the virtues of peace and prosperity for all and the determination to make a go of it no matter what.

2.  A fully funded and comprehensive compensation scheme to buy off all future claims and claimants on Israel proper and the transfer of those settlements beyond the ‘green line’ to form part of an internationally recognised and completely autonomous Palestinian state.

3.  A formal and worldwide renunciation of all intentions to absorb, hive off or make territorial demands on domains deemed the eternal and agreed homeland of either side.

And yet, even if every one of these most unlikely events came to pass, there would still be enough dissent and aggression left over to ignite and fuel the conflict for many more years to come.

If the entire matter is ever to stand any chance of salvation, the well-intentioned but hopelessly inadequate mechanisms employed thus far will simply have to be jettisoned. Instead, a far more capable and harder-edged solution must be secured and installed. This, if sanctioned and adopted by the majority of us, can then begin delivery of the final chapter on decades of contention, confusion and calamity.

And hasn’t the situation been waiting on that chapter for long enough?

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