This week’s visit by President Obama may well herald a unique turning point in matters Middle Eastern. There again, the likelihood of any really radical change taking place still seems fairly remote.

The set-up vis-a-vis the US president and Mr. Netanyahu is not unlike the one existing between Israelis and Palestinians themselves. Each side has great difficulty finding common ground upon which to base sustainable policies. There is much distrust where the other’s motives are concerned and previous contact has tended to highlight their differences rather than smooth them over.

What is long overdue in such diverse company is some common frame of reference, one precise focal point wherein all major arguments and agendas can be contained and their divergent energies directed along paths far better suited for purposes of mutual resolution.

Something is required that motivates every mindset and ambition in the region towards a peaceful settlement and not this continual conflict that’s held sway for the best part of seven decades.

Can it be that everyone has been going about the process in entirely the wrong way and that’s why no result has ever been achieved? Generations of those who have never known peace might very well support that analysis.

Are we all guilty of allowing the crisis to dominate and dictate its own terms, as if we’re somehow hypnotised, locked in by its spell and unable to break free from its baleful influence?

Then perhaps it’s time everyone snapped out of their trance, decided that enough is enough and finally cut to the chase. When we do wake up from this nightmare, we may be surprised to learn that ending it was never the problem.

Finding out how to end it was the key all along.