They Say, We Say: Some problems simply can't be "solved."

They Say We Say We know that pro-Israel does not mean blindly supporting policies that are irrational, reckless, and counter-productive. Pro-Israel means supporting policies that are consistent with Israel's interests and promote its survival as a Jewish, democratic state.

You've heard the arguments of the religious and political right-wing, and so have we. They've had their say. Now, we'll have ours.

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Why the two-state solution?

They Say:

Some problems simply can't be "solved." Some things are just too complicated to be fixed and the only solution is to just live with the problem. It is time to recognize that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one such problem.

We Say:

A growing number of people are advocating this "no solution" paradigm - the view that there is simply no way of resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, so people should stop trying. The "no solution" argument is heard from both the extreme left and the extreme right, two camps that are eagerly capitalizing on the festering status quo - the diplomatic impasse and the increasingly complicated situation on the ground - to discredit and delegitimize the two-state solution and efforts to achieve it.

The "no solution" argument appeals to those who believe that the status quo is bearable and assume that the situation is static - that the status quo will endure even if Israel signals that it has no intention of ever ending the occupation. They assume that Palestinians, denied even the hope of a political horizon, will not abandon restraint and fight harder and more violently for their freedom. They assume, too, that the de facto détente that Israel has achieved with the Arab world won't crumble.

These assumptions are disconnected from reality, and the premise - that a solution is impossible - is likewise disconnected from reality. A two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is possible. Its contours are already well-known. All that is needed is the political will to sincerely pursue and implement it.

Yes, extremists in both Israeli and Palestinian society will reject compromise, but past experience demonstrates that they are not the majority in either society. Israeli and Palestinian negotiators have in the past made significant progress toward mutually-agreed compromise formulas. Even on issues that involve heavy emotional baggage for both sides, such as Jerusalem and refugees, leaders on both sides have devised reasonable parameters which large majorities of Israelis and Palestinians support.

The gaps between the parties, as broad as they may seem, are not unbridgeable. Israelis and Palestinians, as well as international brokers, can benefit from creative proposals such as the Geneva Initiative and other Track II (unofficial) efforts. If Israeli and Palestinian leaders - supported by the US and the international community - reach a reasonable, workable agreement, majorities on both sides would follow.