The Arab-Israeli conflict, struggle, crisis, confrontation, impasse, call it what you will, has been with us now for not far short of seven decades, the nominal starting date being sometime during the last century, round about 1947/48.
With all the tremendous advances made in every field of human endeavour since then, why is it that this particular problem still has more than sufficient staying power to keep itself going for forever and a day? By rights and given the vast amount of political, military and civil activity invested in its resolution, the matter should have been settled long ago. Why has this not happened?
In the end, it all comes down to how much trust each side places in the other’s good intentions and commitment to peace. Evidently, such has been the scarcity of this fairly essential commodity that, whatever small measure of progress can be discerned, it’s nowhere near the amount needed to usher in any substantial form of peace settlement.
But mutual trust must be established in some manner and to a high degree if matters are ever to move much beyond where they are now.
Then let’s face facts:
Arabs in general will not put their faith in any Israeli proposals for long-term peace and cooperation; it’s very certain that the reverse position also holds true. Nothing can be done about this unless a formula is worked out whereby many serious doubts and reservations can safely be set to one side and by all those concerned.
But this is simply not a feasible expectation in the current climate. Indeed, it never has been.
The only possible remedy that might be entertained is one where the membership on both sides would be actively forced to break off from further violent conflict and then stay that way. Refusal to undergo this admittedly unique transition will cause irreparable damage to their cause and progressively nullify any claims to lands that have been in constant dispute ever since 1947/48.
And not even the most militant of those in either camp would want to go down that route.
Alternatives? There hasn’t been even one in all the generations past. But, if we will it, that could change. And change here is well overdue.