I have been at a very informative meeting today run by the Solutions not Sides project team, part of OneVoice Europe. The meeting outlined their approach to finding a solution to the conflict between Palestine & Israel.
Starting with a quick review of the background to the conflict and highlighting the complex history of the Region. One of the main points that I took away was that while Israelis see the events of 1948 as their Independence and the end of exile, Palestinians see the same events as a Nakba (Disaster) and the start of their exile.
No history can hope to reconcile theses two views of their shared history but it was stressed that while religion was linked to the conflict it wasn’t the main driver, that was two competing nationalist movements.
There is no “Zero-Sum” solution to this complex issue where one side wins but the other side loses. Any solution can only be a success if it is based “win-win” where both sides feel they have a successful outcome.
No one is suggesting this is easy to achieve. Indeed, in conversations (via Skype) we had with two young people intimately involved in working for a solution, one an Israeli & the other a Palestinian, we had the chance to explore some of the reasons that, even though most Israelis & Palestinians want a peace settlement based on a two state solution (including evacuating the settlements of the occupied West Bank) neither seems willing to trust the other side to implement such a agreement.
It was a very thought provoking event and one I am very glad I took part in. The message it gave me was that it isn’t enough to be simply pro-Israeli or pro-Palestinian, we need to be pro-solution.
Note: If you want a presentation from Solutions not Sides for your school, college or organisationj (and it is aimed at 18 to 35 year olds) then contact the team at firstname.lastname@example.org or their web page