After Israel's security cabinet rejected a broad proposal to the peace of Gaza yesterday, both Hamas and Israel late last night agreed to a United Nations(UN) sponsored 12-hour humanitarian cease-fire which started at 1:00 a.m.EDT today and last until 1:00 p.m. today. Twelve-hours of partial ease, but yet sometime to perhaps broker a rational fundamental longer peace between the two parties. Whether or not this temporary peace holds, at some point in time, this present conflict will have to come to an end. Then what?
What could be expected in the post-conflict era in Gaza and the broader Middle East? A fragile peace? A lasting peace? A lasting peace would be a glorious attainment. But given the sheer numbers of children and civilian deaths in the present conflict, matched against the history, the religious differences, the political atmosphere and the general ethos of the people of the Middle East; lasting peace is a fantasy - a figment of dreams, an illusion of reality dodgers.
Thus, based upon the human toll suffered so far in the present Israeli-Palestinian conflict(Gaza: 940 dead - 75 percent civilian including children, 5,870 wounded; Israel: 34 soldiers, three civilians); any presumed peace won would be fragile, tested, retested, questioned, broken and re-broken as vengeance will become commonplace among those radicalized by a death or an injury, or both - suffered by a son, a daughter, a mother, a father, a relative, a friend, another or by all during this conflict of 2014.
The populations of Gaza, the West bank and much of the Middle East are young. Memories of violence witnessed in 2014 will most impact and last longest with the young. Given these population facts, once Israel has destroyed its desired satisfactory number of rocket launch sites and tunnels in Gaza in this present offensive to shore up its national borders from militant penetration, the Jewish state should become mindful to act expeditiously upon a new policy of soft diplomacy throughout the region. Such a policy could accord Israel a much needed platform and vehicle through which it could spread "good-neighbor" tidings in the lands of Biblical history and of blood-puddled sands. Moreover, while soft diplomacy could lessen adverse effects from this 2014 conflict, it could also help to reaffirm and to win acceptance of Israel's right to exist and to live within its secured territorial borders just as any other national state.