Israeli-Palestinian Peace Talks: Show Or Substance?

As the world waits from yet another round of peace talks to begin between Israel and the Palestinians, it is difficult for even the casual observer to refrain from cynicism. After all, the two sides have been at odds since Israel came into being, and have made little, if any, progress since then, despite the efforts of the world’s best negotiators. Thousands of lives have been lost to violence. Recently, it was reported that Israeli tank fire killed three Palestinians in Gaza. Of course, both sides have different versions of what happened, and as the talks approach, the battle is waged on the public relations front. In situations such as this, it is difficult to say who is wrong and who is right. But if we step back and look at the big picture, it can at least shed some light on the constant conflict in that part of the world.

Security Starts At Home

Think about your own home. Whether you’re renting or if you own a house or condo, having shelter gives you a sense of security that you would probably miss greatly if you lost it. For a group of people, the lack of land on which to build adequate shelter for themselves and their children is a trying situation, to put it mildly. Whatever reasons the Palestinians have for staying in Israel, it should be considered that most of them think they have no other viable option. Many Palestinians wake up every day without adequate shelter. When thinking about starting a family or protecting their current loved ones, most Palestinians probably have little hope of creating a safe place to live. With that in mind, it is easy to see why land is such an important issue in the upcoming peace talks. And of course, many Israeli families don’t want to reduce the security of their own families. So, those who are cynical about the talks’ potential efficacy are not far off.

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