Impasses and the power to break them

Is an impasse ever really impassable? We pose this question well aware that we live in a world plagued with gridlocks. The economies of Argentina and Japan are in states of arrested development, one acute and the other chronic. Several countries are waging a counter-terrorism campaign against an enemy without a country. The United States is nearing deadlock over whether it is morally acceptable to take a life in retribution for a life taken. Then there are our personal impasses—relationships in crisis, medical verdicts, careers at dead-end, businesses and farms struggling with declining markets.

It is, however, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that constantly pushes impasse into headlines. With the agreement to lift the siege on Arafat's headquarters, we gained a new glimmer of hope in the Middle East. But the violence continues and thorny issues remain unresolved—borders for two sovereign states, refugees' ancestral homes, settlements in occupied territories, a political and religious capital claimed by both sides.

This is the end of the issue. Ready to explore further?
May 20, 2002

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