Israel and the Palestinian territories will need to learn to share responsibility for the conflict before they can find a solution.
For the past 60 years the world has witnessed the horrific conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians. The duration of the conflict begs the question of whether Israel and the Palestinian territories can begin to view themselves as participants, rather than simply victims, in the unrest, and start to share responsibility for the consequences.
Currently, progress toward a peaceful resolution is hampered by a continuous tendency on both sides to blame the other. The self-perceived victimhood of each group is born out of an enduring fearfulness that serves to deepen the war between the two nations. The conflict in the West Bank is between two versions of the same lived experience. Rather than living together, dying together has unfortunately brought Israelis and Palestinians to a shared fate.
How can we get out of this cycle of violence, and how can the two sides reverse direction and start looking towards the future? Israel is currently caught in a dilemma. If it does not end occupation and retreat, it will lose both its integrity as a Jewish democratic state and its international legitimacy. If Israel does end the occupation and withdraws without a peace accord, it may be perceived as a sign of weakness by other nations.
Before Israel can embark on a peaceful solution, it must reform its political system and create a new narrative of tolerance and open communication. In the same vein, Palestinians have no way of regaining their rights without the active participation of Israelis in their democratic effort. Absolute separation between every Palestinian and every Israeli is neither advisable nor possible.
It is time for the international community to underline the renunciation of violence and murder as a moral imperative and to orchestrate an alternative course of action. For this to happen, we need to understand that Palestinians and Israelis are both victims of the same fear, prejudice, and intolerance.