Diario Judío México - Speaking to a group of U.S. congressional interns as part of an ongoing off-the-record summer lecture series Jared Kushner, President Trumps son in law ´ said ]”there may be no solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict”. Mr. Kushner has absolutely no experience in international relations or international diplomacy, let alone having some studied knowledge of the Middle East and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. To make such a sweeping generalized statement puts into question the efforts of scores of highly sophisticated, well versed, intelligent people such as Hendry Kissinger, former Secretary of States under Richard Nixon, former President Bill Clinton and former President Barak Obama, together with dozens of highly versed academics specializing in the conflict.
Many studies of the conflict generally discuss its causes in terms of historical events, each side trying to show how far back they can trace their connection to the land. Emphasis is place on the seemingly inherent incompatibilities between Jewish nationalism as expressed by the Zionist movement and Palestinian Arab nationalism. According to this interpretation, the basic causes of the conflict have not changed in the past seventy years or so. In addition to the original causes of the conflict new layers of conflict have developed which are byproducts of the original causes. Included among these are such problems as the refugees, borders, long-terms occupation forces, religious sights, terrorism, settlements and various formulas for negotiations.
Coming back to Kushner’s statement, the status quo remains and the conflict continues. If that would be the case then the basic premises of the Zionist dream which is based on the idea that there will be a predominantly Jewish majority in the land and that it would be a Democratic , secular state is not going to come about. To me that outcome is unacceptable and I believe it is not acceptable to most Jews in the world
Given the fact that today the demographic picture of Israel is such that there are about equal number of Jews as there are Palestinians and given the facts that the birth rate of the Palestinians is higher than the Jews, it will not take long for the Palestine to overcome the Jewish population. Today the Jews comprise about six and a half millions and if we take the Gaza strip, the West Bank and the Palestinian living in Israel we come to close to seven million Arabs living in Israel and the territories. Therefore to say that there is no solution to the conflict means that Israel does not return any of the territories and there is no recognition on the part of the Palestinians to the right of Israel to exist.
This is not a tenable outcome. The problem is the persistent continuation of the conflict. What needs to be done to get the issue moving. A basic problem is that both sides always come back to fundamental historical “facts” on the ground.
In my view what is missing is understanding better the reasons for the continuation of the conflict. On the Israeli side, the Israelis have always, up until now, won all the battles but have not won the war. By winning THE war I mean a situation where the Arabs agree – ok, we cannot defeat you and therefore will sit down and recognize you as a state. ) I do not say at this point what Netanyahu wants to hear- we recognize you as the Jewish State)- while I may also want to hear that it seems to me that in an bargaining situation you do not start by asking for the most difficult item on the agenda but rather you inch into it). On the Arab side their position is- lets wait- time is on our side. They may be right if the status quo prevails.
To conclude, at this point, is to understand that the conflict needs to be looked at from a social-psychological perspective, not just a historical understanding. The two sides suffer from increase mistrust, frustration, and prejudice and threat perception. As long as these feelings and points of view persist the chances for conflict resolutions will not take place.