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Israel and Palestine: a diplomatic path forward?

By Ciaran Ryan - posted Tuesday, 13 February 2024

With the horrific events of the past four months in the Holy Land, it is legitimate to ask whether a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians will ever be possible.

Can these two groups of people, of different faiths, of contrasting cultures, with divergent historical grievances, ever be able to coexist in harmony?

Or, like oil and water, will they be forever separate, and unable to mix, with endless war stretching forth into the future, with all the misery that will entail for generations to come?


It's been almost a quarter of a century since President Bill Clinton summoned Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian leader Yassar Arafat to Camp David, where the three discussed the establishment of a 'two state solution' to the decades long conflict.

The 2000 Summit saw Israel offer the Palestinians their own state: Gaza and the West Bank connected via a highway, with East Jerusalem as their capital city.

But the talks broke down when it became apparent that Arafat, the man who had seemingly renounced terrorism and embraced diplomacy, could not make the leap from revolutionary to statesman, and rejected the deal.

If there was any time when peace could have been achieved, that was it.

Arafat's refusal to put the Palestinian people before his own ego, would prove to be a calamitous event in human history.

Camp David seems like a lifetime ago now, with rivers of bloody water under the bridge, and in 2024 the prospects for peace seem as remote as ever.


Indeed, in light of the ongoing carnage and the raw memories of the massacres of Israeli families committed on October 7, it seems absurd to even contemplate a possible end to this vicious cycle of violence.

Yet already diplomats, whose job it is to try and imagine that outcome, are at work, conceptualizing how a post-war on Hamas future may appear.

Chief among them is Anthony Blinken, the 61 year old American Secretary of State, whose 'shuttle diplomacy' in the Middle East has put him in the unenviable position of being stuck in the middle between two camps who literally hate each other's guts.

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About the Author

Ciaran Ryan has a PhD in American Presidential History from the University of Southern Queensland.

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Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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