Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: No Solutions, No Illusions

A new section of the Israeli Apartheid wall around Qalqiliya, in the occupied West Bank. (Photo: via

By Richard Silverstein | Tikun Olam תיקון עולם | Aug 10, 2022

But when Palestinian reality gives you a dead baby, you better admit something’s terribly wrong; and that you will never be able to fix it with good intentions.

Is there a solution to the conflict? I would argue, no.  Forever? No.  But for now, there is no reasonable chance to reach such a solution.  Has there been a chance over the past 70 years? No.  For the next 70 years? Maybe.

This is a tough thing to admit for someone who’s been devoted to the idea that there is a solution, and has been working for decades toward it.  But you have to look reality dead in the face without flinching, and say what you really see.  Not what you want to see.  The truth is very plain.  It’s staring us in the face.  We just hate what we see so much we don’t want to admit it.

There are many who still harbor illusions about what’s possible. They still believe in fairy tales of love, peace and understanding.  Co-existence. Dialogue, Liberal democracy, Two states., etc. etc.  I admit I was once one of them.  Back in the day, I thought I was a visionary.  I believed in two states when it was still anathema to do so (New Jewish Agenda circa 1981), I believed in negotiations with the PLO and was stoned for it at a Jerusalem protest (1979).  As far back as 1969 (age 18) I wrote a paper at Camp Ramah’s American Seminar, comparing Israel’s conquest of the West Bank in the 1967 War to apartheid South Africa.

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