Sometimes it may only be possible to solve an impossible problem by proposing an impossible solution.
The Israel-Palestine conflict is a question that by definition appears to have no answer: two peoples, each wanting their own state, on the same small land, which – after some 70 years of diplomatic stalemate – it seems they are not willing to share.
Since moving to Israel some six months ago I’ve made my way through a number of tomes analysing the dispute (there are only a few hundred remaining on my list), read hundreds of commentaries, news reports and blog posts, and been fortunate to be able to hear quite a few viewpoints firsthand, from both Israelis and Palestinians.
Sadly, the voices I tend to find most persuasive are also the most pessimistic: those with a sure grasp of the conflict’s tortured history, capable of imaginative sympathy for each side’s narrative, and unsentimental about their mutual capacity trust and compromise. The best of what I’ve read and heard recognises and presents fairly the issues of existential importance to both sides, issues that any conceivable solution must acknowledge and seek to navigate.