Israel-Palestine: The Only Way To Resolve Conflict

6 Aug 2014

The first thing needed to resolve conflict is to build trust between the two sides. But a long history of bitter war between Israel and Palestine makes this difficult. There have been talks to resolve the dispute earlier but they have not been effective due to the absence of trust. Attempts at ceasefire have not been long lasting either.

Often war rhetoric unites people in a strange way. Nationhood and religious ferocity take it beyond borders complicating a local issue and making it an international one. A conflict arises over small differences initially but when it runs into decades, it become a career for some on both sides and instead of resolving it, their intent is to keep it alive. Blinded by hatred and narrow-minded political motives, these fanatic elements, often occupying positions of influence, become numb to the suffering that their own people go through due to violence. Even in this case, liberal leaders on both sides who have made efforts to establish friendliness have come under fire by extremists from their own side. The conflict thrives on fanaticism in the garb of righteousness.

A prolonged war gives rise to generations of people who grow up without ever knowing peace, thinking of it only as a distant, impossible dream. Distressed by volatile emotions created by volatile circumstances, many of them end up joining the fight and become fuel to sustain the conflict.

Every conflict should be seen beyond its regional identity. To end the vicious cycle of violence, leaders should place humanness above religious identity, irrespective of nationhood. Dialogue based on trust is essential for peace. The door of dialogue should never be closed even if it may sometimes be hard to find solutions. In this effort, all vested interests like the arms lobby should be kept out. Often Track 2 diplomacy (people-to-people contact) works well. Public polls clearly indicate that people on both sides are eager for a peaceful settlement. Leadership on both sides have to evaluate their commitment to peace and consolidate public opinion towards it instead of inciting aggression. This is the only way.

Courtesy: Speaking