“Those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to repeat it.”
– George Santayana (1863 – 1952)
Instead of rehashing history to provide reasons for why the current state of affairs exists, can it be agreed that events and attitudes, now spanning more than six decades, have produced results of no lasting or appreciable worth? Not one side here can ever hope to claim this struggle as a positive or an uplifting experience. Even some far distant ‘victory’ or series of such will never confer any sentiment of fulfilment upon so turbulent a past.
Which is really rather a shame because there may still be sufficient potential in the situation to promote just that type of feeling.
The entire confrontation is deadlocked, both in the military and the political sense. It has been thus for so long that no amount of leverage can now force the genie (djinni) back into the bottle (or should that be ‘lamp’ ?) The genie in question is that same constant and violent disputation that, for well over half a century, has created an Israel where its very survival has long been the dominant issue; to the exclusion of almost everything else. And, If Israel has any aspirations left about becoming ‘ a light unto the nations,’ these must be fading fast as the years take their toll on this generation, much as they have done on preceding ones.
To break this deadlock requires an approach altogether different from those that have gone before.
If all that has happened so far counts for anything, it must be seen as an object lesson in how not to end this form of conflict.
And so, having painfully established how something is not to be done, do any new directions still remain open?
Remember that the genie grants only three wishes.
Israel already has received those of survival and prosperity. Keep in mind therefore that the third wish traditionally involves persuading the genie back into the bottle. Once there, the hope must be that his next release can then be supervised with a little more circumspection than was his first, 65 years ago.