Abbas: We don’t want to divide Jerusalem, or flood Israel with refugees | The Times of Israel

This would appear to be a very welcome departure from the more conventional of received Palestinian viewpoints and one that could be of great significance in the formation of a lasting peace settlement.

But, ultimately, these are only words and, even if totally well-meaning and heartfelt, they still remain as words, nothing more.

Any deliberate forward movement based on such pronouncements must require an additional resource, capability or framework with which to advance and implement their stated intentions.

Unless these words – and many more like them – can be set in stone with universal approval and the fullest expectation of some positive outcome, then they must stay as they are, just the hopes and dreams of a minority, their motives questioned, their sincerity always in doubt.

Some form of validation is needed, a means whereby onward travel can be undertaken without too many concerns for all the traditional pitfalls and obstacles so often encountered in the past.

In every life there comes a time when its whole ethos and comprehension may be judged in one unique set of circumstances and the manner in which that moment is faced, evaluated and then, if possible, exploited. For nations, communities and individuals, this holds true in all cases and has done so in each and every one of the many generations throughout humanity’s long but always eventful history.