After listening to the Israel-Palestine panel, it became clear to me that a two-state solution is the only viable option. The panelists from Friends of Israel, J Street U, and Jewish voices for peace all clearly stated their support for and belief in the the two-state solution. From discussion during the panel, I gathered that a two-state solution would include Israel as a Jewish, democratic state that will coexist peacefully alongside and independent Palestinian state. Borders in this solution would be based on pre-1967 lines with agreed land-swaps to allow each state to incorporate large population centers on the other side, and of course, there would be compromises over Jerusalem, as well as mutual access to all holy sites.
During the panel, I was especially intrigued by the Friends of Israel panelist’s brief remark regarding the juxtaposition between the idea of Israel and the reality of Israel. While the panelist only quickly touched on this subject, the point caused me to think greatly about how ignorant people are to the complexity of this conflict. As the conflict between Palestine and Israel rages on, the fighting increasingly deadly, the death toll more tragic, many people are quick to point the blame at one party or the other. The panelist representing Friends ...
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...e blamed for creating the 1967 borders? Should the young Palestinians in Gaza be judged to be complicit with their older relatives who may have attacked Israel? In essence, my question is about the argument over group rights and individual rights, and about agency. More or less what I want to know is to what extent are individuals responsible for historical actions?
The second question I have about the conflict occurred to me while reflecting on the panel: Is it possible to clearly identify “right” and “wrong” sides in a long running conflict such as the Israel-Palestine conflict? Both sides are tied to ideologies, histories, and narratives that are almost completely distinct from those of the opposing side. In some ways, it is almost as if both sides have developed their own set of facts—which is exactly what will make solving the conflict so tricky.
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