The complete idiot’s guide to Mideast peace – part 232

Day 38: IDF strikes Gaza after rocket attack, though Egypt and PA say truce extended by 5 days | The Times of Israel   ‘Rockets hit near Ashkelon, Eshkol; Hamas denies it fired; Israel moves troops to border; 5 killed by leftover IDF missile in Gaza; Netanyahu tells UN probe team it should look elsewhere for war crimes’

This doesn’t look good, does it? But then, to a very large extent, hasn’t ‘looking good’ been pretty well the problem all along? Without both sides coming out of this conflict looking good, neither one will feel much inclined to fold their tent and creep quietly away, thereby preventing any ending here whatsoever, certainly not one in the conventional sense.

As regards an actual ending of hostilities between Israelis and Palestinians, two schools of thought are generally to be found  – but only at the opposite ends of a broad and much contested spectrum.

One: This is to enter into negotiations wherever possible, hammer out some compromise formula from which both sides might readily derive substantial long-terms benefits. This is then followed by mutual and permanent disengagement from the conflict, thereby setting the scene for a final settlement of whatever issues remain outstanding.

Two: Here the solution is to apply the maximum of military (or militant) pressure until one side gives in and surrenders to the dictates and tender mercies of the other.

Since neither option here can expect to be realised any time soon, some middle ground needs to be sought out, one combining elements of both extremes but, nevertheless, still sufficiently acceptable to each party and therefore far more likely to succeed, especially when all else has failed.  – ‘ for those of us with better things to do.’

This applies the very maximum of pressure while providing the perfect platform for discussion and compromise. It would cancel out virtually all of the disruptive influences that have constantly plagued every type of peace initiative put forward since the start. And that was 66 years ago.

And if that doesn’t look good, then there may be nothing left that ever will.

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About the Author
Engineer, Virgo - now retired having worked 30 years in the field of medical diagnostic imaging for a major German multinational. Based in UK .