Can a time ever come when Israelis are able to accommodate a fully functional and independent Palestinian state existing right next to theirs? Could Palestinians find themselves happy enough to tolerate and interact with a Jewish state in much the same way?

At present, even visualizing such an unlikely scenario seems impossible. The strenuous efforts made in the past, especially those of late, clearly indicate the difficulties surrounding so elusive an ambition, one that might be considered almost delusional were it not for the fact that current peace negotiations are aimed at precisely this very outcome.

Or have we got it all wrong and such discussions are little more than a sop to world opinion, a cruel pretext designed solely to perpetuate the status quo, merely a means of going through the motions and leaving matters no further forward than they are now?

Is the situation then entirely beyond redemption and, as things have been, so must they always remain?

Well, if none of us are really prepared to push this endless dispute to its very limits, then whatever hopes there are for its final disposal must go to join so many others that have vanished down the long corridor of time.

But what are these limits and just how can they be reached?

Such a simple arrangement and yet the results would certainly justify its employment. Ending a conflict that has never once possessed the slightest possibility of closure must, in no small measure, confirm that the myriad mind of Man still retains some mastery over whatever strange designs fate may yet have in store for all of us.