The complete idiot’s guide to Mideast peace – part 246


Israel must force Hamas ‘to raise the white flag,’ Liberman says | The Times of Israel  ‘FM says Hamas can be utterly defeated, says gov’t can’t keep putting off decision to do so, slams Abbas for ‘incitement,’ urges ‘comprehensive’ peace with Arab world’

If peace really is the only worthwhile objective in this matter, then getting both Palestinians and Israelis to climb down permanently from their 66 year-old warhorses must become the absolute priority here. A vital and indispensable requirement, it is something that can’t be shelved, put on hold or ignored in any way whatsoever.

And that may be why this whole business has remained in constant turmoil from the very start. 

Peace has always been seen as the end-product of negotiations, parleys, conferences, ceasefires and what have you. Never has it been the forerunner. But what if that has been the big mistake all along? Given conditions that have prevailed for over 66 years, peace, of some sort, has to be in place well before peace of any sort can finally be attained. 

Let’s make some basic assumptions here:

1. Neither side can force the other into submission, not militarily, economically or politically. Not without immense harm to themselves.

2. The level of mutual trust needed to make any significant headway towards resolution of the conflict is just never going to materialise.

3. No external threat exists against which the combatants could unite in common cause, all differences forgotten so that more immediate and profound dangers might then be confronted.

But what if the rest of the world could provide exactly that kind of ‘external threat’ and maintain it in being for as long as necessary?

If sufficiently motivated by this – and it would have to be some motivation – both parties might find themselves locked into an arrangement whereby peace, from each of them in turn, becomes their most powerful defence against this ‘external threat.’ Then such a defence would be demanded, quite rightly, by all sections of the general populace. Peace in advance of peace. It would have a lot going for it if it could be done right. And this is how it can be done.  – ‘ for those of us with better things to do.’

After 66 years and much more than 120,000 deaths later, the end of the matter comes into view at long last. “And about time too” would, I think, be the consensus of opinion right across the face of the entire planet.

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 .