The release, and the potential for further release, of these pre-Oslo prisoners held by Israel should definitely start the Kerry peace initiative off on a positive note. What happens thereafter remains to be seen.
It can go one of two ways.
- A final-status agreement is eventually reached and both sides then embark on a brand new relationship, one that is far more relaxed and less flammable than anything previously experienced in all of the last 65 years or so.
- No agreement is reached, talks break down, major issues stay unresolved and chances for improvement in the overall situation return to their former state, that of being somewhere between minimal and zero.
The first scenario is, perhaps, overly optimistic but not entirely beyond the bounds of possibility. Should this prove to be viable, then a whole new future for the region opens up, peace comes to the Middle East, Mr. Kerry is handed the keys to the White House (2016) and the world moves on.
If scenario number two, still the most likely, prevails, then yet another attempt at remedy and redress for so intractable a problem finds much the same success as have all the others.
But, with so limited a range of outcomes in prospect, a third scenario might make a most welcome addition to what is a very short list indeed.
www.laxiankey.com (Scenario 3)
This would certainly provide for a new Israeli-Palestinian relationship; a very cautious one at first and not without some trepidation for all concerned. But it would still be a way out, a means of terminating a conflict left for far too long in being and revealing a whole new method in its resolution.
Of course, if people cannot see beyond the possibilities of scenarios 1 and 2, then the impact of scenario 3 is unlikely to move them all that much.
But, one way or the other, movement of some sort is required. To do nothing invites defeat on so many levels since time, as always, is the real enemy here.
There again, scenario 3 can turn time into something of an ally, an ally well worth cultivating if any finality in this matter is ever to be achieved.