What with the Iranian president publicly acknowledging and even condemning the Holocaust, President Assad prepared to relinquish his arsenal of chemical weapons and the Hamas power base in Gaza becoming ever more marginalised by Egyptian military authorities, Israel might have some cause to view these developments with a certain degree of satisfaction.

But such an observation may only be the result of a few straws in the wind and the harsh reality of the overall situation remains more or less intact. Israel is not perceived as the prime mover in any of these reversals of fortune and, in any case, the very next day, week or month can easily see them turned around, set back on their original path as though nothing at all had happened.

Unless a substantial degree of permanent change can be introduced into the region, matters will proceed much as they have done for the past six and a half decades, reverting to the same time-worn patterns that have lasted throughout generations. This is no way to secure a better tomorrow or a future finally freed from the legacies and ghosts of all things past.

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Only in such a manner can everyone hope to emerge from former times with some real chance of personal and even national redemption.

The choice, as always, is between good and evil and, in the end, it may be our ability to create new choices that saves us all from having to face and endure the ones presently at hand.