There were a variety of speakers from very different backgrounds, both Israeli and Palestinian, trying to think out of the box to try to find solutions to the Arab-Israeli situation.
Interesting that there was a lot of common ground between most of the speakers. I think that most of the participants would agree that any solution would need to include the following points as non-negotiable:
- The "2 state solution" as it is currently being discussed is part of the problem, not part of the solution. It is used by the Israeli government as an excuse not to invest in the Palestinian territories (why would you invest in territory that will not be under your control in the future), and is used as an excuse by the Palestinian Authority to restrict development as all problems can be blamed on "The Occupation" which absolves the PA of taking responsibility.
- Any solution must guarantee full and equal rights for Palestinians, especially the right to travel and unrestricted access to work, schools, and medical facilities.
- Any solution must guarantee security for both Israelis and Palestinians, so that Israelis and Palestinians can visit each other, work together, as well as ride buses or go to sleep at night without fear of terrorism or unnecessarily violent military action.
There should be zero tolerance for terrorism, or support for terrorism (such as paying families of terrorists or glorifying their actions), or for vigilantism (such as "Tag Machir")
- The refugee camps must be replaced with respectable housing for all descendants of the Palestinian refugees. 2 generations after what Palestinians refer to as "the Nakba", all people are entitled to a proper home with proper infrastructure.
- People should be free to live and travel wherever they want. That means that Jews should have rights to live in Chevron, Beit Lechem, or Ramalla, and Palestinians should have rights to live in Jaffa, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, or Modi'in.
- Jews and Palestinians need to learn to listen to each other's narrative, and respect the fact that we may not perceive history or the current reality in the same light.
I'm sure that not everyone will agree with all the points above, and some of them seem to be contradictory (can we have unrestricted freedom of movement yet maintain complete security?) And I'm sure that there are other non-negotiable points that would be acceptable to both Israelis and Palestinians that could be added to this list. Feel free to leave a comment.