A permanent agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians will not be achieved without historic decisions by both parties. In his article in Al-Monitor, Nabeel Kassis was very courteous and forthright in clarifying to us that the Palestinians are a long way off from making the main historical adjudication that would allow for a permanent arrangement between the two peoples.
The differences separating Israelis and Palestinians are many — and understandable, especially in light of the past decade. Disputes over security arrangements and borders gain a different meaning given Hamas’ seizure of the Palestinian territory in Gaza and the collapse of stability in the Arab Middle East. Alongside these concerns are challenges that require 21st century solutions, including such complex issues as the future of hundreds of thousands of Israelis living in territory contested by both nations, some of them in communities where three generations of settlers have been living for close to half a century; control of and access to holy sites, including the holy basin of Jerusalem; the Palestinian diaspora and its future; the division of common natural resources; and differences over environmental standards.