Israel and Palestine have long contested territories in the northwest of the Middle East. The 60th anniversary of the formation of the state of Israel has passed last year, and all the conflict since then has come to dominate Arab-Israeli and, at times, international affairs. According to Britannica, Israel and various Arab forces and coalitions have been involved in six wars. That is among the highest degree of inter-state conflict in the second half of the 20th century and into the 21st century. The disparity caused by such conflicts goes to show the need for a solution.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict may go under the radar at times, but it usually resurfaces and flares up. This, almost regular, re-ignition of Palestinian and Israeli conflicts has been demonstrated again, with Congressional debates on the topic of Israel between Ilhan Omar and other Congress members. This paper aims to disassociate from any anti-Semitic, Islamophobic or hateful stances that have come to dominate this debate. It will do so by focusing solely on a solution. It is the opinion of this author that a two-state solution with Jerusalem shared between Palestine and Israel will effectively solve this issue and lead to peace and prosperity.
The issue surrounding Palestine and Israel has long been the focus of many different players in an international context. This issue largely pertains to the two central parties contesting authority and staking sovereign claims to the same land. Historically, Israeli and Palestine have existed, at the same and different times. Palestine was first known as such when Herodotus attributed the name to the area. The Kingdoms of Israel and Judah also existed prior to the common era, with their historic ties to the land providing part of Israel’s justification for present-day statehood.
Palestinians also have ancient ties to lands in the northwestern region of the Middle East, herein lies the problem. Jewish people suffered devastating persecution in the early and mid-20th Century. Issues, such as the Holocaust, have given momentum to the existing Zionist movement. With the Balfour Declaration in 1917 providing some legitimacy to the idea of Israel, Jewish people sought statehood after World War II (with Great Britain withdrawing from the Palestinian mandate). Such assertions outraged Palestinians and the Arab world, as large portions of their populations saw the land as rightfully belonging to Palestinians.
While the issue has been a matter of global concern, solutions proposed to end it have also been in the spotlight of the global arena. These solutions include a one-state solution, a two-state solution and a solution treating Jerusalem as an international city. This article argues that the conflict will be solved by pursuing a two-state solution with Jerusalem being shared between both states of Palestine and Israel. This, in effect combines two solution; albeit, altering Jerusalem’s status from international to shared. This solution is also heavily influenced by China’s one country, two systems relation with Hong Kong.
Some barriers to this solution do exist, however. Mutual recognition has, still, not been achieved. Security concerns will continue to be a matter of grave significance. Finally, relations between the two states are still fragile, with Israel being subjected to a number of UN resolutions and Arab rhetoric of Israel’s annihilation also being heavily scrutinized. It is important to note that these problems have to be treated independently, but a diplomatic solution can lay the foundation for future positive relations to emerge.
All in all, a two-state solution with Jerusalem shared between co-existing Palestinian and Israel states can lead to peace and prosperity for both nations. The depth of the issue can be traced back to both nations treating overlapping lands as their sovereign territory. Different solutions have been proposed, such as a one-state solution, two-state solution and a solution where Jerusalem will effectively become an international city. Other issues will remain, but a diplomatic agreement will serve as a basis for better relations between Israel and Palestine. With so many livelihoods affected by this conflict, it is imperative that a lasting solution is found, be it this one or another.