i really do think this is the last time that i will refer to this one particularly ill-advised comment about peace in Israel before a certain leader of the free world leaves office.
it strikes me that recent developments indicate that there is a decent chance that two other countries that have long isolated themselves from at least some of their neighbors are likely to establish peaceful relations before Israel does (i don't mean to imply that it is an Israeli problem by referring to it this way. it is an international conflict. it is just easier to list one country instead of the many countries on the other side).
the two long hold-outs:
Cuba: Castro is out of office and his replacement, according to one reporter i heard on NPR, is much more moderate. this should be an easy one to resolve. nobody has any fundamental conflicts with Cuba and both sides have a lot to gain by improving relations. the US would gain major PR points for resolving a conflict long past it's ridiculous date. Cuba would gain access to fresh parts for their fleet of 1950s american autos. i honestly think this could be resolved in about 20 minutes if the right people got together for a round table discussion. i'd surprised if the current leader of the free world (or anyone else, really) could explain why we don't have peace with Cuba right now. momentum of history, i guess. there are probably more Cubans in Florida than there are in Cuba, so there don't seem to be any cultural barriers.
North Korea: we have talks, we have visits, we have cultural exchanges. there are families separated for decades. there fundamentally isn't a conflict, just a crazy dictator who is getting old. i haven't been old or crazy so far, so i can't speak to what his mindset might be, but he must see the comparative wealth in South Korea and the famine in his own country. i can only imagine that he wants to help his people. maybe as he sees his death approaching he will decide that he wants to be remembered as the man who re-united Korea, instead of as the man who caused the deaths of many, accomplished little, and then was replaced by the man who re-united Korea. i think all he needs is a deal that preserves his honor and status.
i'm not saying that either will achieve significant advances towards peace in the next nine months (the leader of the free world's deadline for a lasting peace in Israel), but i am willing to bet the house that both will establish lasting peaceful relations with all of their neighbors before Israel does.