Yesterday’s random terrorist atack in a shopping precinct in Tel Aviv when four people died is yet another reminder of the super-fraught situation in Israel-Palestine. There can be few disputes — save the current one in Syria — over which so many politicians have laboured for so long without any resolution of the sort that politicians — and their back room negotiators — pride themselves on being able to achieving.
I think there’s no man-made solution. Whatever the Israelis may say from time to time about the possibility of a two-state solution, they are never going to give way any more than any other country when it comes to defending their territory. On the Palestinian side, whatever injustices in the past they may point to, no other Muslim country of sufficient political clout cares enough about the Palestinians to offer constructive ideas or practical help during any dispute with Israel.
If a confidential poll were undertaken in Gaza and the West Bank I am quite sure that the people there would confess that they’d like to be released from the domination of their present demagogues. They mjust be deeply envious of the standard of living of their neighbouring Israelis with a population (8.2 million), not a great deal larger than their own (3.6 million) and with depth of scholarship and innovative ability that no other country can match proportionately.
There’ll be no man-made solution, only a cultural one. When Hamas and Fatah finally lose any hope of restraining the people they ae supposed to represent and when Gazans and West Bankians quietly adopt Western values and when Israelis begin to trust them again but also — very importantly — when the Israeli government clsmps down on its own religious fanatics and learn not to be so arrogant vis-a-vis its own Arab-Israelis and to give them the same educational and business opportunities as for themselves.