The question in my title warns you immediately that any answer I might provide will be entirely speculative and of the sort to be heard, with variations, in every Saloon Bar in the land, if and when the subject ever arises which is not often! Regular readers will know of my inherent liking and admiration for the Jewish race even as I acknowledge that just like most other people they can at times be a total pain and a nuisance. Whether or not they should ever have been plonked down in that miserable desert is an open question but, there they are and there they intend to remain.
Regretably, the Palestinians have allowed their leaders to whip up a frenzy of resentment based on several supposed, and some very real, grievences. They have done this, of course, not because they give a flying fig about the grievences or even the welfare of their people but only because it provides a platform upon which they can "strut their hour upon the stage" whilst simultaneously banking some serious money on their own account! To be fair, Jews are, by and large, the toughest negotiators in the world particularly when it comes to their own interests and given the history of their treatment over the millennia who could blame them? Also, it has to be said, Israeli governments, too, remain in office at the behest of their electorate and usually that plays into the hands of Right-wingers like Netanyahu who are equally adept at 'strutting their stuff' by taking a hard line with the Palestinians.
However, and here I am relying on memory, there have been occasions in the past when the Israelis, encouraged by their friends, have made genuine efforts to cut some sort of deal with the Palestinians. Shimon Peres was one such peacemaker but, alas, his efforts foundered, not least on the slippery character of Yasser Arafat, a murderous, corrupt crook and gangster. In addition, standing behind the Palestinians are the massed, but disunited, ranks of the remainder of Araby. Their leaders, too, seek the popularity that comes with 'war, war' but not with 'jaw jaw'. So, as usual in these imbroglios, there is plenty of blame to go round!
All of that brings us to the West and our policies. It seems to me that we need to tread through Israeli/Arab relations as though there was an IED buried every three feet! Of course, by "the West" I mean America because she is the only real power and the French and the Brits are the equivalent of spear-carrying extras in a production of Antony & Cleopatra! When we consider American foreign policy we are reduced to headaches, moans and groans and shivers of apprehension because they, too, are bi-polar and each time the political colour changes in the White House their policy changes radically with it. The liberal Left, exemplified by Obama and his current administration, have swallowed whole the anti-Semitic detestation of Jews, a mood that seems to have captured France entirely and which also has growing roots here in England. No-one, it seems, can stand back and view the hideous complexity with any degree of detachment which would allow us to define our own national interests and having settled that, allow us to pressure the players concerned towards a settlement.
In weighing up these national interests it seems obvious to me that a primary one is to recognise that the continued existence of Israel, a proper, working democracy, the only one in the Middle East, is of paramount importance. Of course, that doesn't mean we have to be led along by the nose into any and every adventure the wilder elements of the Israeli High Command might dream up but always the absolute corner-stone of our policy should be to keep Israel in existence as a strong player in the Middle East. Regretably, I suspect that the current White House would have considerable difficulty weeping even crocodile tears should Israel be over-run and its people beheaded en masse.