Are Palestinians or Israelis any stronger after more than half a century in contention with each other?
I suppose the answer to that depends on how you define strength and what yardstick is used.
There are any number to evaluate: Military, intellectual, economic, demographic, political, religious and communal. All of these have combined to shape events in the past and are expected to do much the same well into the future. That’s why so much effort has gone into augmenting them throughout several lifetimes and this remains true right up to the present day.
Perhaps it’s not so surprising then that no side has ever thought to deliberately degrade any perceived strength or advantage that they themselves might possesses. Why reduce in potency that which has served so effectively in time of conflict? What possible reason could there be for such a strange reversal of policy and outlook?
Well, sometimes it’s only by exploring possibilities other than those we accept as normal or conventional that we find the key to any of the really difficult problems that confront us.
The problem with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is that it exists and has done so for generations. There seems to be no end to it. Does that mean there literally is no end? Or is it just that we have yet to discover what that end should be?
Everything ends sooner or later. The task confronting us here is how to seriously speed up that process and do so in a manner acceptable to everyone involved.
Which, from the way things are shaping up in the Middle East, now looks like being every single person on the planet.