A selection of our reader comments is provided below. While not all of the comments are as on point as others, we believe many of our readers' comments add perspective and flavor to our core question "What are the solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?" and this site.
We posted these pro, con, and neutral comments in the approximate ratio that we received them. (For example, if 60% of the responses received are "pro," then about 60% of the responses posted below would be "pro").
The comments are arranged in reverse chronological order -- most recent first. We sometimes edit comments for brevity, clarity, and spelling. We may also remove comments posted when we find better comments covering the same issues. To preserve confidentiality, only the writer's first name is noted, unless he/she has waived confidentiality. Respondents are generally notified when we add their comments to this section.
CON VIABLE PALESTINIAN STATE - "Is there a Palestinian nation? There was no 'Palestinian Arab nation' having an ancient attachment to the Holy Land. Palestine is a name given by the Romans to the Holy Land. There is not, nor has there ever been, a distinct 'Palestinian' history, culture or language. There was never a Palestinian state in the Holy Land governed by Arab Palestinians. There was never a serious Arab-Palestinian national movement until the 1967 Six Day’s War which allowed Palestinian identity to develop once the occupation of West Bank by Jordan and Gaza by Egypt was removed...
Is a solution to the Palestinian Israel conflict possible? Palestinians are not a nation. Even if they are they are fragmented into multiple competing fractions which make a 'good' business being at war with Israel… The distance between WB and Gaza is more than geographic: it is a cultural, economical, religious, political and social difference that sharply separates the two…
There is no solution to WB and Gaza as one Palestine… The West Bank cannot survive by itself. It has no natural resources, is short of water and has no sea access. It can be de facto a Palestine but will have to amalgamate with Jordan where 40% of the population is already Palestinian. Population explosion in Gaza, 4445 people/square kilometer, has to be resolved by return to status quo ante 1967 when Egypt controlled Gaza allowing Gazans to inhabit the sparsely populated northern Sinai (138 people /square Km).
International pressure financial support may persuade Egypt and Jordan to cooperate. If this will happen Israel will have no difficulty to have an agreement about Jerusalem. The dissociation between WB and Gaza will ease agreements, allow responsible, Egypt and Jordan, control of reckless and criminal groups in WB and Gaza." Isaac Barr, MD, May 28, 2010
READER'S PEACE PROPOSAL - "Cede land adjacent to the Gaza Strip (adjacent to Ashkelon) and the West Bank (adjacent to the Dead Sea) to the two controlling Palestine parties. The land should be used specifically for an entertainment destination: with hotels, spas, casinos, etc... and financed and jointly owned by Israel and the Palestine governments. These will be taxed and controlled by Palestine to provide a revenue stream for their government...
Joint agricultural and industrial free-trade development zones should be created in the same manner for major agricultural, power and water projects.... Free trade and development zones could also include regional teaching hospitals, specializing in the needs and characteristics of the region and its residents.
The, admittedly basic, goals of these and other efforts would be to bring the parties together in common efforts, establish economic co-dependency, open face-to-face everyday lines of communication, and create an experience based culture of trust and joint success, from which could be hammered out a long term regional solution." Carey, Apr. 29, 2010
READER'S PEACE PROPOSAL - "We need a hybrid approach, which would eliminate the most contentious aspects of both pure solutions. Without some form of confederacy to join Israelis and Palestinians, any so-called peace agreement will last but a few years, at most, before yet another round of hostilities breaks out. There must be a framework put in place, as part of any solution, which would provide both peoples with a vested interest in peacefully resolving their own issues. It should also be clear that, currently, Israelis and Palestinians are incapable of even visualizing peace let alone reaching an agreement without help. The United States should take a visionary role in crafting the framework for such a hybrid solution." Bob, Apr. 28, 2010
READER'S PEACE PROPOSAL - "Solutions to Palestinian-Israeli conflict are different for Gaza and West Bank. In Gaza, there is population explosion due to polygamy and no birth control. Gaza is not an Israeli problem, it is an Arab problem. Specifically, Gaza is a continuation of Sinai and Gazans should settle there. Egypt has to open the border and annex the strip.
West Bank is culturally different from Gaza and geographically removed. West Bank should become Palestine and confederate with Jordan. West Bank cannot survive independently. One day there may be a Middle Eastern Union including Israel. Lastly, education of Palestinian children, TV, etc..., should be aimed to coexistence with Israel. No plan can materialize without it." Isaac, Dec. 9, 2009
PRO SELF-DETERMINATION- "As for the question, "Is a two-state solution (Israel and Palestine) an acceptable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?" It begs the second question, "Acceptable to whom?" As a believer in the right of self determination and government exists with the consent of the governed, the local people (Palestinians/Israelis) will need to decide whether it is acceptable.
If a two state solution allows the Palestinians/Israelis to live together peaceably, it is acceptable to me. The concept, however, is, to my knowledge, without successful historic precedent. The available analogies are North/South Korea, North/South Vietnam, East/West Germany. In these cases, the people shared a common culture but differed on economic philosophy. In the Palestinian/Israeli situation, the primary difference is religion. Why anyone thinks this will be successful is far from clear...
Thanks again for your efforts. It [israelipalestinian.procon.org] is a wonderful site." Ken, Nov. 9, 2009
PRO CREATION OF ISRAEL JUSTIFIED - "I say if there was no Holocaust it would still be justified because the Arab Moslems were so lousy to the Jews. The occurence of the Holocaust only seconds the justification of the Jewish state. The uncle of Yasser Arafat in the 1930's and 1940's collaborated with Hitler. He incited mobs to attack the Jewish community of Bagdad, Iraq in 1941. In Yuglslavia, he organized Moslem SS units that killed 90% of the Jewish population of Bosnia. His full name and title is Hajji Muhammed Amin El Husseini, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. He incited mobs in Palestine to kill Jews in the 1920's and 1930's. He egged Hitler on to start the Holocaust and was on the committee that supervised the genocide. These actions also second the need for a Jewish state." Michael, Oct. 28, 2009
CON DIVISION OF ISRAEL - "If you split Israel, the US will be split right up the New Madrid fault line. Leave Israel alone, or better yet start helping our best ally. Let them develop their land and build settlements." Lucinda, Sep. 15, 2009
PRO VIABLE PALESTINIAN STATE - "Principle One: Respect for international law, breaking these laws should not be rewarded. i.e, if Israel wants other State's land, then it will not be one-for-one (square kilometer).
The Palestinian State must be viable, beginning with contiguous [territory]. i.e., in the event of land-swap, Highway 60, linking Jenin, Neblus, Ramallah, East Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and Hebron, will lie entirely within Palestine. (note: this is what the Obama administration should be targetting, not settlement freeze. General Dayton should be releaving all Israel Occupying Forces of their duty along this highway, replacing them with PA security) Also, most of the land-swap will go towards linking Gaza with the West bank of the Jordan, starting with the roads through Gilat, and most (10-to-1) will be north of this road. Plus, all new borders must be a regular form, vs serpentine.
The further Israel's desire to acquire land in Palestine, the higher the price. i.e., zone C, the land between the international border and roads (which make the West bank contiguous) 596, 584, 574, 446,448, 354, also 578, 458 will exchanged at a price of for 2-to-1. Zone B, The land between these roads and highway 60, will be exchanged at the rate of 8-to-1. (if more than 20 km from an above-mentioned city, then 4-to-1) e.g., 20 square km total, 10 in zone C and 10 in zone B 10 x 2 = 20, 10 x 8 = 80, 20 + 80 = 100 square km, compared to all 20 in zone C, equals 40 square km. e.g, if Israel decides on a total land grab of 400 sq km, then Palestine will get 1,000 sq km, a corridor between Gaza and West bank around 10 or 20 km in width - effectively cutting the Negev and Beer Sheba off from the rest of Israel. Its their (Israel's) cost-benefit analysis.
If Israel wants a land deal that undermines Palestine viability, i.e. any land on the wrong side of highway 60, then it must accept a one-state (binational state), with a non-majoritarian Executive Council." Neil, Aug. 5, 2009
PRO ANNEXATION OF GAZA AND THE WEST BANK TO ISRAEL - "Israel must annex definitively to its territory the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and must consider strangers all the Arabs and all the non Jewish that live in the Land of Israel, and must treat very well all the strangers, who must have all the rights that the Israelis have, except the political rights. This is the true solution, because all the Palestine belongs to Israel, because God gave it to Israel, as it is written in the Law of God... Therefore, the true solution is to create the Holy State of Israel, including all the so called Palestine, in which the Jews will be considered nationals, and the Arabs and all non Jewish will be considered strangers, with all the civil rights, but without political rights. The Holy State of Israel must have the Law of God (Torah, the five first books of the Bible) as its constitution, and must be ruled by true religious Jews, that really fulfill the Law of God (Torah), and must rebuild the Temple of God, in Mount Moriah (Temple Mount), in Jerusalem." João Paulo, July 1, 2009
PRO INTERNATIONAL RELOCATION OF PALESTINIAN REFUGEES - "The two state solutions is an inevitability, Why? Because Israel will get tired of fighting. The Palestinian state is a given because of the eventual exhaustion of Israel. We’ve already seen signs of Israeli exhaustion in their withdrawal from Gaza. As sure as the rise of the sun, there will be a two state solution. So what is the real issue? Jerusalem? Jerusalem will be re divided, the Dome of the Rock will be turned into a International enclave, like the United Nations enclave in New York City. So what is the real 21st Century issue? Obama should have addressed this THE RIGHT OF RETURN. As of 2003, there were 4.3 million Palestinian refugees, Palestinian descendants from the Wars of 1948, 1956, 1967, 1973 in refugee camps, STATELESS. The whole issue is where will they go? To their ancestral homes in a new, peaceful Israel. Israel cannot allow that to happen, for if it does happen, Israel will no longer be a Jewish state. To other Arab states? It has been 61 years since the first Arab Israeli conflict, and no Arab state has volunteered to absorb them. The two state solution has no viability with 4.3 million people sitting on the sidelines, in their hovels, carrying a grudge. We have to lay plans for a great migration; Christian Palestinians should be offered slots in under populated Christian countries, such as Belarus, and Russia. The Muslim countries must be forced to accommodate their brethren on a specific formulaic basis. But the bulk of the refugees must go to the nation with the least hope of repopulating naturally. The country with the most rapidly aging population; the country which will fall into disarray for the lack of young people. That country is Japan." Gerry, June 6, 2009
PRO TWO-STATE SOLUTION - "Considering that over time, Israel's superiority in nuclear capability will begin to diminish vs. its adversaries, as they are likely to obtain access to nuclear arms themselves, (from such sources as Pakistan, China, Russia, etc.), therefore, in order to prevent a horrible nuclear confrontation in the Middle East, Israel would be well advised to negotiate a fair peaceful resolution of all outstanding problems with the Palestinians and the bordering or regional Moslem states, as soon as possible, by:
1. Reaching agreement with the Palestinians, residing in both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, for the creation of an independent, viable Palestinian State, that would incorporate these territories with a connecting land corridor (similar to the corridor that existed between West Berlin and West Germany, before German reunification.)
2. Compensating the former Palestinian residents (or their surviving descendants) for the properties and assets lost by them in 1948, when expelled (or escaped in fear for their lives) into the surrounding Arab states at the time of the War for the creation of the State of Israel. With a fair compensation, these former Palestinian residents could resettle into the new, yet to be created, Palestinian State or emigrate elsewhere, but by accepting fair compensation, would give up the claim for a 'right of return to Israel.'
3. Offering to the Palestinians, (who still live within Israel proper), fair compensation for their properties and assets, provided they resettle into the new, yet to be created, Palestinian State or emigrate elsewhere, but by accepting fair compensation, would give up the claim for a 'right of return to Israel.'
Hopefully, this way, the Middle East crisis could finally be diffused with: a) Israel achieving its implied objective of becoming and remaining a purely Jewish state within its secure and internationally recognized borders, and b) The Palestinians, getting their own independent, viable State, while obtaining fair compensation for lost properties and assets, or alternatively, gaining the opportunity to resettle elsewhere in the region or throughout the world." Joe, Apr. 27, 2009
CON DIVISION OF JERUSALEM - "I don't see any reason why Jerusalem should be divided and be also the capital of a Palestinian state neither for political nor for religious or historical reasons. Jerusalem is not mentioned in the Koran, had no political importance during the centuries of Muslim rule, and finally, the Arab occupy part of the old city from where they were chased by the Jordan-Arab legion which destroyed all the synagogues and cementeries. Strange enough, nobody reacted to the Jordan occupation from 1948 to 1967, but only once Israel did reconquer the city in 1967." Ralph, Apr. 15, 2009
PRO ISRAEL - "The UN recognizes a nation if it has all of the following: 1) It must have a land. 2) It must have a people. 3) It must have a government. 4) It must be able to trade with other countries. Israel meets all of this criteria. The PLO, Hesbolla, Jihad, Hamas, and Shehite cannot meet this criteria because they are terrorist organizations. They are Muslim and Arab radical extremists fueled by their mother countries with one intent: to wipe the land clean of Jews. Israel has been a nation since 1948 and has every right to defend itself against constant attacks from these terrorist groups." Rand, Apr. 13, 2009
POSITIVE FEEDBACK - "I found your site while looking for information on Israeli Prime Ministers... I had no idea you were out there and found your website to be of great value in illuminating the Israeli-Palestinian situation. When I returned, I discovered the greater mission of encouraging critical thinking and providing information on a variety of issues -- fantastic work, and thank you again." Melanie, Feb. 20, 2009
POSITIVE FEEDBACK - "A great site! One of the best on the most relevant issues for us all! A superb explanation of the subject. Illuminating, explicatory, and comprehensible. A high-quality elucidation which sheds light on the most multifarious and emotionally-charged issues within the world of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. An excellent entry for Israelis, Palestinians, Jews, Arabs and anyone who seeks information about a complex matter which is often intimidating and misunderstood. Great to have such first-rate enlightenment so well put and perfectly organized! Thank you!!!" Tamar, Feb. 9, 2009
NEGATIVE FEEDBACK - "I came to your site to review the historical and present day maps. I was initially intrigued and impressed by what I saw, until I came to the Pros and Cons on Terrorism. I have read both over a number of times. I cannot see how they can be reasonably interpreted to be differing sides of an extremely sensitive issue. I would think that of all of the topics here, this would have been given the most careful handling; it seems to be the reverse. I find it both disturbing and concerning." Tony, Jan. 31, 2009
PRO CONFEDERACY OF STATES - "I have my doubts that peace is possible in Palestine on any terms. There are intractable issues. That sad truth will keep Palestinians from achieving economic prosperity and Israel from achieving its economic potential and freedom from indebtedness to the USA...
Neither side has given serious consideration to an alliance of states collectively known as Israel as a solution. The USA is literally 50 states with often sharply different laws and practices, except in economic development where each competes against all others... A loose confederacy with each side maintaining its own security forces but one international policy (if for no other reason than the cost of embassies and trade rules) would probably work. Economic prosperity which requires recognizing mutual interests, like in the US, is the true glue of an enduring state... Today those states are strong supporters of the common national defense." Walter, Jan. 28, 2009
NEGATIVE FEEDBACK - "The pro and con are very weak in section 'Does Israel have a right to exist?' -- these aren't arguments, they are empty quotes. What gives nations the right to exist? At what point in history did the world reject outright imperialist land grabs? By Israel you mean 'a jewish state' which embodies the notion of an ethnic majority -- one of the most controversial policies in Israel leading to settlement expansions (that is, keeping Jews in a super majority numerically). Come on! Deal with this issue's complexities! THANKS." Sue, Jan. 21, 2009
PRO TWO-STATE SOLUTION - "The only practical and feasible solution is a two-nation solution, as and when it gets mutually accepted and practically implemented. It might be in the form of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip for Palestinians and the rest to Israel or in any other suitable form... The only way out is peaceful, mutual coexistence, without going into the detailed analysis of who did what and who is responsible for what putrid acts. Because getting down to that is like opening a Pandora's box where there would be no ending to accusations and counter-accusations. So, peace would reign in this region, as and when it finally does, only when they both realize that they don't have the capacity to exterminate the other and will go on to exist in each-other's neighbourhood. So why not say enough is enough and accept the other side, even with complete distaste." Nutan, Jan. 12, 2009
PRO TWO-STATE SOLUTION - "The problem in the Middle East is the occupation of Palestine and the non-recognition of its independence from Israel. The solution is a two-state solution and an end to all hostilities. It's important that parties who are not sincere to the two-state solution, whether they are Zionists or Islamists are identified and challenged and made it clear to them the world's citizens are desperate for peace in the Middle East, for the sake of innocent civilians and children in the region and for the sake of a secure world free from terror and hostilities. All of our families and children have a life to enjoy and all in Palestine and Israel deserve such a life." Abdulla, Jan. 4, 2009
PRO ONE-STATE SOLUTION - "I wrote a book proposing that the only lasting solution to the conflict is for both to live as one nation. They have done it before during ancient time, why can't they do it now?.. It is written by one not emotionally involved, therefore it sides with nobody but with what it beleives as right." Joseph Arellano, author of The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: The Road We Fear to Tread, Nov. 25, 2008
CON ROAD MAP - "I think that the 'ROAD MAP' will do not bring peace for Israelian and Palestinian peoples... As a point of departure I demounce ocupation as the highest form of terrorism, because it is organized and managed by the state aparatus of the occupation forces. I condemn all attacks against all civilians carried out by both individuals and organizations. No measure of despair can justify killing of civilians. I condemn terrorism and the killing of innocent civilians regardless or their nationality. However, I am aware that all these acts are the consequence of continued Israeli occupation. To tolerate the existence of Israeli occupation means to tolerate its consequences, terrorism being one of them. That is why the world cannot and should not tolerate this occupation any more and must do everything to end it." Suhail, Nov. 18, 2008
PRO UN PEACE AGREEMENT - "The world is sick and tired of the endless Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As neither party to the conflict has the power to annihilate completely its opponent (and hopefully, the world would not permit a Hitlerian style 'final solution' to either party of the dispute) then, the only rational resolution is to reach a permanent peace agreement under the auspices and control of the United Nations... Considering that over time, the superiority of Israel in nuclear capability will begin to diminish vs. its adversaries, as they are likely to obtain access to nuclear arms themselves, (from such sources as Pakistan, China, Russia, etc.), therefore, in order to prevent a horrible nuclear confrontation in the Middle East, Israel would be well advised to negotiate a peaceful, final and fair resolution of all outstanding problems with the Palestinians and the bordering or regional Moslem states, as soon as possible." Anonymous, Sep. 30, 2008
READER'S PEACE PROPOSAL - "This Three Part Peace Plan is both practical and concise; its concept is unique in that it is inclusive and relational – working from a top level of 'peace amongst governments' – down to an establishing and maintaining of lasting 'civil peace' – then lastly down to a grassroots level - 'peace in the hearts' of and amongst the people - which includes the creating and implementing of programs, events, and holidays to maintain continually growth and peaceful living amongst the neighborhoods and families to ensure that peace is strengthened on a daily basis." Georgeann DeLuca, Committeewoman for the 33rd District, Bridgewater, New Jersey Aug. 5, 2008 DeLuca Peace Plan (40 KB)
POSITIVE FEEDBACK - "Congratulations. The new site is outstanding and easy to navigate. The Palestinian/Israeli dilemma has and continues to be a detriment to world peace. Maintaining a non-biased forum where this important issue can be discussed is helpful in finding a solution." Abraham, July 8, 2008
PRO ONE-STATE SOLUTION - "I think and believe that the Israel/Palestine conflict will only be resolved by the demise of one or both states. I also think and believe that the only way to accomplish this without genocidal destruction is one secular democratic state with equal rights for all.
In the constitution of the new state have a provision that Jews will make up 55% of the legislative body or bodies. That the armed forces will be a majority of Jews, but Palestinians have a right to be a part of it. All other articles would be to guarantee majority rule with provisions to keep the tyranny of the majority in check.
The fear of Palestinian birth rates being higher than Jewish birth rates is ridiculous. It is economics that regulate birth rates. A combined state will surely raise the economic situation of the Palestinian people.
I find it hard to believe but I agree with Colonel Muammar el-Qaddafi of Libya that the creation of "Israetine" would solve the problem.
I realize I am just a uneducated country boy, but this is my opinion. Thanks for giving me a forum to voice my thoughts on this issue." Alex, June 4, 2008
POSITIVE FEEDBACK - "The Israeli-Palestinian ProCon site is highly educational and current. It is the best site I have seen on this topic." Gerson, May 22, 2008
POSITIVE FEEDBACK - "I have a course on Present Issues in the World International Politics and I had to do a little research for a debate on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. While I did come across other sites, yours proved a very useful source of information. Nicely structured and easy to use on short notice." Toma, May 5, 2008
POSITIVE FEEDBACK - "I'm impressed with your fairness about the Middle East... Many thanks for your web site." Pauline, Apr. 23, 2008
POSITIVE FEEDBACK - "I'm a final year student of Religious Studies, at Trinity College, Carmarthen (Wales, UK). The population statistics are a useful resource for part of my dissertation. I will definitely recommend your website to others." Jess, Apr. 21, 2008
CONCERNED READER - "I am an American of mixed heritage, Irish, Welsh, German, and Native American. That being said I was on the side of the Lakota at Wounded Knee, I believe in Sinn Fein and the IRA as long as the IRA is fighting the British Military and the RUC and not bombing innocents. I have been to the Sinai Peninsula after the Camp David accords and believe that both sides are most definitely at fault. My problem with Hamas is very simple they will never leave Israel alone and their suicide bombers target civilians. That is utter cowardice...
I believe the decision to provide the Jews a homeland after WWII was correct, the way that the Israeli provisional government seized land outside of the United Nations provisions was wrong. To continue to build in occupied areas is wrong. To blindly attack civilian populations is wrong and cowardly...
The "disputed lands” have changed hands over and over and over and over for thousands of years. It is stained with the blood of innocents and religious fanatics. As long as Hamas and the IDF just kill each other I don’t care. I do care about the innocents on both sides...
As long as either side targets civilians there will be no end. Just look at Ireland it took them 700 years and they still don’t have their Island back." Bill, Apr. 21, 2008
POSITIVE FEEDBACK - "This site rox! I was having so much trouble finding more info on this conflict, when BAM! the site came up and I click on it. I got a 102% on my project because I had so much information- and answered the really hard extra credit question. THANK YOU www.procon.org!" Malarie, Apr. 7, 2008
CON-PALESTINE - "In your "Introduction to the Conflict," you stated that the 1947 UN Partition Plan of Palestine was "rejected." That is not true. It was rejected by the Arabs, but accepted by the Jews. In addition, you stated that the territories were captured by Israel during the 1967 war. But you left out the fact that the war was brought on by the imminent threat of attack by all the surrounding Arab countries on Israel. Why did you leave out those details? They seem very important to the discussion. Leaving them out seems like false reporting and bias." Bruce, Sep. 2, 2007
READER'S PEACE PLAN - "I have had contributed in the near past with some solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and once I wrote a three or four page peace compromise and faxed it to Ex President Bill clinton during his time in the White House.
Since that time nothing has hapened and the situation became worst which matter is threatening the world's security and peace!.
Now I believe that if the whole world will stand together to implement peace between the Israeli and Palestinians to push a new compromise then I would sugest a con-federal state for both peoples, this type of solution would make both peoples build their good economy and prosperity for the welfair of all inhabitants of the new state and will maintain peace and security in the whole world!" Karam, Aug. 27, 2007
CON-PALESTINE - "There will never be a solution to the conflict because the Arabs do not want a solution. There is no way they will agree to a peace with Israel. The only peace they will agree to is a "piece" of Israel. The Arabs - Muslims are not indigenous to Israel they came from all over to settle here especially after the Jews came. Read Joan Peters book "From Time Immemorial" to get a complete picture of Israel. When Palestine was still part of the British Mandate, the British minted coins - one side said Palestine (in English)and the other side inHebrew said Eretz Israel. I have no objection to the Arabs or Muslims living here but it is my home and they have to behave in my house as a guest , if not he /they should leave." Marcia, Aug. 15, 2007
CONCERNED READER - "I lived in the middle east in 1964-65. A common comment from both sides was "we are willing to fight until the last American dollar." The last I read the total aid, in various forms, to Israel and the Arab states was about 9 billion $ a year for each. What would happen if we stopped all aid to both sides? Would they be able to continue slaughtering each other?" jwcbird2, Aug. 11, 2007
CONCERNED READER - "The Palestinians have suffered enormously. The Jews suffered under the Germans'From their own history, they should understand the futility of war and leave the Palestinians in peace. Israel should give Palestine their land and let them live in peace. No one is going to take any land with them on their final journey - so is there any meaning to this MADNESS. Women, children and loved ones lose their lives - all because of Politicians playing stupid games. We live but one life and we should live it with love and peace not war. Give up your weapons before you'll destroy everything." Canter, June 28, 2007
POSITIVE FEEDBACK - "I'm planning to teach an adult education class in my synagogue this fall about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and I intend to use many of the resources on your wonderful website." Janice, May 25, 2007
READER'S SUGGESTION - "Both need to learn respecting each other. Israel has greater responsibilies to gather and help the democratic forces of the region. There can be no peace in the region unless people are educated liberally and democracy adopted as system of govtnment." Hamid, May 15, 2007
CONCERNED READER - "Why is it that a possible peace in the Arab-Israeli area is always seemingly sabotaged? Whose long term interests are served by instability in this region?" Chris, Apr. 21, 2007
POSITIVE FEEDBACK - "A link to your excellent site was provided by a participant in a discussion of the Israel-Palestine issues currently taking place on E-Sanga -- a Buddhist forum. There is a news and public affairs section that gets quite lively, although this has been the most civil discussion of this issue I have seen anywhere. Your page helps people to recognize that the story of this tragedy is many-faceted. That, in itself, is a major accomplishment -- as many fair-minded people are simply unaware of any narrative other than heroic Jews winning their freedom & independence after WWII against maniacal Arabs who still swear to drive them into the sea. My opinion is that this tragedy will not be solved unless and until both sides are heard here in the West -- so I applaud your work." Carol, Feb. 15, 2007
READER'S PEACE PROPOSAL - "In a two state solution, it would be agreed that there would be a differentiation between residency and citizenship. All new Arab residents of Israel (present Arab citizens of Israel would be given a choice) would become citizens of Palestine but residents of Israel. All Jews living in Palestine would be citizens of Israel but residents of Palestine. As in the United States, local residents would be able to vote for local issues, police, education, utilities etc. but only citizens of their states would be able to vote in National elections." Michael S. Sanders, Jan. 30, 2007 Sanders Peace Plan (PDF) 106KB
IDENTITY CONFLICT - "Hello everybody. I'm an Arabic girl from Israel. As you know there are many Palestinians which are living in Israel as 'Israeli people,' but in fact, we are from Palestine and we are so proud of that. I just wanted to say that I have a very big conflict inside me. I just don't know what to say when some one asks me 'where are you from?' I am forced to say 'from israel' because I have the Israeli ID, or I have to say 'from Palestine' because I just feel that I am not from this country which [is] called Israel. I just know that this place that I am living on was called Palestine, and some people stole it and called it 'Israel.' I just don't know who I am. I cry when I see Palestinian people die everyday by the Israeli people, but I cry too when I see Israeli people die by the Palestinian people. [The] two of them are mistaken because war [has] never been the right solution, peace is the only solution for ever." Lina, Jan. 29, 2007
READER'S PROPOSAL - "The American government should sit with the United Nations and with leaders on both sides for their reconcilation.
1. The Palestinian and Israeli leaders should forget the past, and think of the future for peace in their countries.
2. They should forget about religion, and think of the life that has been lost in their lands." Abubakar, Jan. 8, 2007
POSITIVE FEEDBACK - "This is a very valuable site, in my opinion. I have lived in Israel-Palestine for 7-1/2 years as an American volunteer and am convinced that an integrated, objective narrative of 'what happened' historically in this Land (and 'why') is simply not possible. There are too many overlays of tribalism, mythology and selective memory. So, this kind of side-by-side analysis is perhaps the next best thing. Thanks for making it available." Tom, Dec. 19, 2006
PRO TWO-STATE SOLUTION - "I believe there should be two states. The land should be split based on population, and United Nations representatives should be placed at the border of the two separate states to ensure safety for both Israelis and Palestinians. I also recommend this site to other high school students that need research information. It's really helpful!" Wisal, Dec. 18, 2006
NEGATIVE FEEDBACK - "You think we are all stupid! You are trying to write the Jews out of the land of Israel! Your web-site and its so-called pertinent information is simply lies...your Goebellisian approach is telling in its transparency. Tell a lie often enough...! " Debra, Dec. 4, 2006 [Editor's note: The periods of ellipses are from the reader.]
CON ISRAEL - "The World chose in its wisdom (?) in nineteen fortyeight
To partition Palestine in order to create
A homeland for the Jews who’ve had more than fifty years
To prove to us all that it was a good idea
As far as I can see, and you may disagree
On balance they have failed and done so miserably
For reasons that would make a long unpleasant list
Israel has forfeited its right to exist
Look around and listen and it is clear that some
Of us have had enough, maybe the time has come
To dissolve the state of Israel, resurrect Palestine
And give one person one vote. That would be fine
By me and if the Jews say: 'Not now, but soon'
They can all go to America or to the dark side of the Moon." (Myspeak), Nov. 13, 2006
READER'S PROPOSAL - "My suggestion is that the U.S.A. and Europe take-over the whole West Bank and Gaza for a year or two. Then, organize everything as to prepare for an independent Palestinian State in 2008. Then, give the palestinians five years to try to rule themselves. Then, if they see that the Palestinians really deserve it, continue. Otherwise, the U.S.A. should make the entire country a Democratic Palestinian-Israeli State begining on 2015." Hussein, Oct. 23, 2006
PRO TWO-STATE SOLUTION - "I think there must be a two-state solution for the Israelis and Palestinians, as that is the only way that both people will be able to see a sustainable future. This two-state solution must include rigorous security guarantees and the protection of human rights and access to holy sites. I don't believe, however, that the region will see such an outcome without the active and sustained involvement of the United States. In June 2002, the President was courageous in stating that he believed in a two-state solution. Now he must send Secretary of State Rice to the region with the mandate that she bring both leaders together and work within the parameters of the Roadmap to make progress." Andrea, Sep. 29, 2006
READER'S TWO-STATE PROPOSAL - "The sub-division of the virtually uninhabited 5000 sq miles of the Negev desert, south of Dimona, is the only practicable solution to forming an independent, contiguous, Palestinian State i.e. Palestinians will be able to travel between Gaza and the West Bank freely and without hindrance, within their own autonomous state. There is no Israeli town in this area - over 97% of Israelis live north of Beersheba.
The UN would need to provide finance to construct huge desalination plants to irrigate the land and this would be a major financial project that would require support from the international community. The costs would, however, be less than the current costs of supplying military aid to Israel.
This is a viable solution to the conflict and would entail the removal of all Israeli settlements within the new State i.e. the West Bank. The port of Eilat would remain a part of Israeli territory and would be accessible both from the Red Sea and via a rail link from the north." Colin, Sep. 21, 2006
READER'S PEACE PROPOSAL - "Until and unless Israel agrees to the U.N. resolutions, it will never see peace. Though it may prevail over the Arabs in the conventional sense, Arab groups will continue to fight and keep the Israelis in constant fear.
What Israel should do:
It must withdraw from the Arab occupied territories.
It should remove the Jewish settlements from the occupied territories.
It should take back the annexation of East Jerusalem.
What Palestinians should do:
The palestinians should recognize the existence of Israel.
They must stop anti-Israeli activities.
They should guarantee the security of Israel."
Anwar, Aug. 26, 2006
READER'S PROPOSAL - "I've gone over the procon Israeli-Palestinian website quite extensively, and have spotted a place dedicated to the Christian Palestinain minority detailing their total population. What I'm trying to suggest, is to grant the Christians of Palestine a form of full autonomy over Bethlehem, Nazareth, and over the Christian parts of Jerusalem. Preliminary entitlements of this proposal:
Christians of Palestine (living either in the West Bank and Gaza Strip or in Israel) are entitled unrestrained entrance to and exit from the territories in mention, carrying a special ID card specifying them as 'Christian Palestinian', along with their Palestinian city of origin (and nationality of country they come from).
This also and equally applies to Christian Palestinians living anywhere abroad, only those will be restricted to a three-month visit, once every three years. For transit through Isreal to get to the territories, their destination should be clearly specified by the authorities of the country from where they come, and it is then Israel's duty to grant them all aid and attendance as they go through, on arriving, and leaving.
The Territories are to be internationally recognised as the three holiest Christian cities, with regard to their 'Palestinian' identity, a status officially and bilaterally proclaimed by a UNGA and UNSC resolution.
They are to be submitted to one set of laws, in full conformity with the civil ethics of Christian teachings, and are entirely independent from the authority of either states of Palestine and Israel.
To be granted permit into those territories, non-Christian Palestinian citizens are to present the same documentation required to enter any country as pilgrims or tourists.
Christians of Palestinian origin are to be granted this privilege regardless of whatever other nationalities they might carry.
Arms are prohibited in the territories, and the task of maintaining their security lies entirely on the UN special divisions, altered annually, exchanged between different Christian member nations of the UN."
Elizus, May 20, 2006
NEGATIVE FEEDBACK - "I reviewed your site again and I really don't see what you're trying to do, unless it is to legitimize a terrorist organization. On the Con side of the issue of whether Hamas is a terrorist organization, you cite patently unreliable and outdated material falsely suggesting that Hamas' main focus (when they are not killing Jews) is humanitarian service - 90% good works and, I guess, 10% Jew killing and maiming. It is kind of like quoting the insane president of Iran and other Holocaust deniers on the con side of a supposed question of whether there was a Holocaust. The problem is that your web site posits that there are two legitimate points of view on an issue which is not debatable by any honest reporter. Hamas is by its own admission a terrorist organization. The election of Hamas by the arabs who choose to inaccurately call themselves Palestinians is another in a long line of rejections of any peaceful settlement and a reaffirmation of their virulent hatred and death cult culture.
When you pretend that there are two sides to issues of this nature you do a disservice to everyone, including yourself. We need to recognize reality and to expect that arabs and other muslims will recognize reality as well. If this is "too much" for you and them to do, a war of extinction is the election you have made and the real option you are promoting. I think that is wrong and immoral. I don't think any thoughtful or responsible person should participate in such an act." Richard, Mar. 10, 2006
CON ISRAEL - "I think it is wrong for Palestinians to be held hostage along with other non-Jewish peoples inside Israel and until this is resolved there shall be no chance for peace. As well, the fact that the U.S. supplies Israel with weapons of mass destruction also displays no intention of Israel to be looking for peace." Debra, Feb. 2006
CON ISRAEL - "The Jews are the root of the problem with the Arab people. Stealing Arab holyland, killing innocent arab men, women & children. They call the Palestinians terrorists, they're the ones who spawned it! It's o.k. for them to drive people from their land to illegally place their own kind there. What do they expect from the Arab people? To bow to Israel & let them continue their selfish ways? 9/11 & terrorism and all the bad things of today's world are a direct result of Israel! The U.S. should let them fend for themselves. Cut all military aid & the millions of dollars already sucked out of the U.S. & funneled directly to Israel. I'm not saying all of our problems of today's world will magically disappear. The damage that's been done will take a lifetime to mend. But Getting out of the Arab/Israeli conflict is a good way to start." James, Jan. 31, 2006
POSITIVE FEEDBACK - "Thank you so much for your knowledgeable website. I am in the process of providing information like this to educate otherwise ignorant and/or uneducated peers. I know this website will be a great asset to my group.
We need more non-profits like this who are not afraid to expose the truths, and not be afraid to be called "anti-Israel" because the people who think anyone who discusses this is "anti-Israel" is most definitely only selectively listening to the issues." Kristin, Oct. 18, 2005
THIS SITE IS PRO PALESTINIAN - "Your choice of experts and your rating system betrays your leaning. You weight a diplomat or politician as a 3 star candidate no matter who he is giving credibility to his opinion though he might be completely biased and dishonest. And you quote dodgy 'experts'. Benny Morris, the Israeli historian, is notoriously pro Palestinian and has even been accused of historical revisionism by his peers yet you have the cheek of quoting him as a pro Israeli voice.
If you are going to present a case for Israeli survival, there are plenty of sources (e.g. Joan Peters, Conor Cruise o' Brien).
If not, please don't advertise yourselves as neutral." Jeremy, Oct. 11, 2005
READER'S TREATY -
The Borders of Israel shall be her pre-1967 borders, less the agreed upon areas of her Security Wall Borders and Common Municipal Duties of the Old City of Jerusalem and the Highway Area Around the Sea of Galilee.
The Borders of Palestine shall be Gaza and the West Bank. Israeli People currently living in the West Bank shall automatically become Jewish-Palestinian Citizens of the Palestinian State. Dual Citizenship shall be allowed, but Foremost Citizenship shall be Palestinian. All Land that Was Previously Occupied Shall Permanently Remain Demilitarized.
The Borders of Syria shall be her pre-1967 Borders, less Israel’s Common Municipal Duties of the Highway Area Around the Sea of Galilee. Israeli People currently living in Syria shall automatically become Jewish-Syrian Citizens of the Syrian State. Dual Citizenship shall be allowed, but Foremost Citizenship shall be Syrian. All Land that Was Previously Occupied Shall Permanently Remain Demilitarized.
The Old City of Jerusalem shall be Sacred Land, with Equal Sovereignty and Rights to all People who hold the Faith of Abraham, Moses and David Sacred. Israeli and Palestinian Citizenship Shall Be Allowed within the Old City of Jerusalem. Israel shall be responsible for Common Municipal Duties.
Foremost Rights Shall Be Given to the Current User and Use, Especially Water Right Usage Between Nations.
All Nation’s, People’s and Citizen’s Agree to Accept the New State’s Borders and to Accept that State’s Sovereignty, which may include Legislative, Executive, Civil, Criminal, Administrative and other Governmental Decisions and Actions.
Foremost Rights Shall Be Given to the Current User and Use, Including Water Rights between Nation’s. Israel, Syria and Palestine Agree to an Unconditional Civil and Political Amnesty Between All Nation’s, People’s, Citizen’s and Person’s.
The Rights of Palestinian’s to Emigrate into Israel and the Rights of Jewish People to Emigrate into Palestine Shall Be Equal. Equal Powers Governing Immigration Shall Be Each Determined by the Country of Immigration.
Lloyd, Oct. 8, 2005
NO PEACE PARTNER - "I do feel there are alot of missing elements concerning the Palestinians struggle to wipe the only democratic state in the middle east- Israel of the map. The majority of the pro-palestinian ideologies I have read have contained alot of lies. Its simple, Palestinians or some may call them Jordanian refugees have never wanted peace and this can be proved time and time again since Israel was created. Until Israel has a true partner in peace and only when the palestinians stop inciting hatred into the minds of young children, can there be a chance of stability in the region. PS The terrorist organisations would also have to be dismantled." Peter, Sep. 28, 2005
POSITIVE FEEDBACK - "I think your site is unique and simply incredible. It is so rare to find anything on Israel/Palestine that attempts to present all sides to the issue and allows the complexity of the situation such visibility. I really do commend you. Of the most pressing statement on the future, I mostly agree with Lieberman and Chirac who simply state that there has to be both a Palestinian, free and independent state and a secure Israel. But, sadly, I also want to add that I wish for fuller and deeper recognitions of the history behind the conflict. In particular, the roles European colonization and the Cold War played in creating the divisive hostility between the Palestinian Arabs and the Israelis. And, also America and Russia during the Cold War.
I fear that unless we get an understanding of all the forces behind the continual, tragic battles, the unreason and fever that was created by so many historical factors all impacting on these two beleaguered groups of people--Palestinians and Israelis--the world might never see a solution. That is all I really would add to what has been said by far smarter people than myself. That is, the solutions do not all lie in the immediate present or the planning for a better future but in a grappling with a wider historical continuum. Sometimes I feel the Palestinians and the Israelis bear the punishing consequences of larger and more powerful countries and former empires. Thanks so much for letting me know more about your site and for noticing my novel!" Leora Skolkin-Smith, Author of Edges: O Israel O Palestine, Sep. 9, 2005
POSITIVE FEEDBACK - "I want to thank you for your site. I came across it for the first time yesterday and was very pleased to find someone who cares about presenting both sides of this story. Too many times Palestinians are portrayed as unprovoked aggressors. I in no way condone terrorism, but I feel that it's important to look at why young Palestinians are willing to kill themselves. I look forward to fully exploring this site." Krissy, Aug. 22, 2005
POSITIVE FEEBACK - "Thank you for your e-mail. I was already familiar with your web site and admire the excellent work you've done in creating a good impartial resource." Clifford A. Wright, MA, former Staff Fellow at the Institute of Arab Studies, July 18, 2005
JERUSALEM SOLUTION - "Why not make it [Jerusalem] an autonomous entity (similar to Vatican City for example). The adherents of Christianity, Islam and Judaism would all be equals and treated as such. The governing body would be a "triumvirate" composed of 1 representative for each pre-mentioned religious denomination." Raymond, May 23, 2005
STOLEN LAND - "Israelis want to live their lives on land stolen from Palestinians oblivious to the suffering and hardships that Palestinians are subjected to on a daily basis. The right to exist as a nation is simply not a reserved right exclusive to Israel. Palestinians are a distinct nation of people whose historical claim to this precious piece of land is just as legitimate." Mark, Apr. 21, 2005
NO PALESTINIAN STATE - "How can you think that you can put our Israeli flag next to the 'Palestinian' flag. How can you call your site Israeli-Palestinian - there is no Palestinian state just an Israeli state..." Anonymous, Apr. 13, 2005
SUPPORTING ABU MAZIN (Mahmoud Abbas) - "There is a clear chance for hope; we must pay attention to it. It is Abu Mazen. The United States, as well as Israel must give Abu Mazen the chance to deliver... Abu Mazen has been working on the Palestinian grounds relentlessly to set up the stage for the next period. The Americans, and the Israelis guaranteeing Abu Mazen the required support to continue his work is just as essential for the next stage." Fadi Elsalameen, Founder and Co-Director of Voice of Arab Youth, Apr. 7, 2005
POSITIVE FEEDBACK - "I'm compelled to write and thank you for your work on the Palestine/Israel issue. I've been researching both sides of the conflict myself and I can't tell you how refreshing it is to find the history and issues presented, stripped of the rarely avoided emotion and emotional language." Wayne, Mar. 24, 2005
INTERNATIONALIZE JERUSALEM - "I propose that the solution to the Israel-Palestine problem lies in Jerusalem. Make Jerusalem an INETERNATIONAL FREE CITY like the Hague and that should ease tensions. Split the remainder of Israel in half roughly and reestablish the Palestinian state. This is the ONLY just solution." Martin, Jan. 31, 2005
PALESTINIAN MOTIVES - "An appropriate question should be: There is no dispute that the Palestinian purpose has been the destruction of Israel and the annihilation of its people. Given the fact that the Palestinians are honest and frank about their intentions, why should Israel end the occupation?" Dennis, Nov. 20, 2004
ISRAEL IS RIGHT - "I do not understand how anyone could possibly believe that Israel is wrong. The Palestinians are eagerly killing innocent civilians! Israel on the other hand are killing terrorists. I realize that there are civilians killed also, however they are not targeting civilians unlike the Palestinians. I can not see that the Palestinians have the right to even enter into talks because of this aggression." Tresa, Sep. 30, 2004
PRO ONE STATE SOLUTION - "Palestine must not be divided, but it must be shared by all its inhabitants irrespective of religion or creed, there is enough in Palestine to meet everyone’s needs, but not everyone’s greed’s, the Zionists are fighting for their greed’s, and the Palestinians for their needs, when the Zionists stop fighting for their greed’s and the Palestinians get their rights and needs, then and only then can peace be achieved." Adnan, Aug. 8, 2004
PRO WESTERN INVOLVEMENT - "I am a visitor from India. My perception is that western world is living under fear of terrorist attacks, which appears to be largely due to unresolved conflict between Israel and Palestinians... Western countries should involve more to resolve this conflict." G.L., June 15, 2004
PRO BUFFER ZONE - "Let me [be] straight and square, the mediators in this conflict, especially the U.S, are biased. They favour Israel. There is simple way to [settle] this, the Isreal state should be stopped to insist on its 'dream of promised land', and the two states should exist as per before 67-war. In between [the two states] a buffer zone should be established, under U.N observation." Doolah, June 2, 2004
CON U.S. INVOLVEMENT - "One of the biggest issues is not included in your list of issues. I'm speaking of the unprecedented part played by U.S internal politics on international decisions affecting world security, not to mention U.S. security. Our latest loss of credibility world wide can be assigned to one indisputable fact, the one sided influence of the Israeli lobby that allowed Sharon to destroy the 'road map' with the assistance of Bush." Donald, Apr. 27, 2004
ANTI-SEMITIC SITE - "I find your site very Anti-Semetic and Anti-Israel. Your site is blind to the sufferings of the Israeli people. I guess it is ok to kill innocent people. Israel gives the Palestinians everything from aid to housing to healthcare. The people want nothing more than to kill or exile every Jew in Israel. I know from experience I have been studying there for the last 9 months." Darren, Apr. 26, 2004
CON ISRAELI - "And don't people see that the Jews will just become another Nazi group? They kill Palestinians (Nazi ironguards). They send them to refugee camps (Nazi death camps), and now they are building a wall separating East Palestine from the West Palestine (the Berlin Wall)." Hilal, Apr. 20, 2004
CON HAMAS - "I like to submit my sincerest congratulations för Israel's very prompt and resolute action against Shejyk Yassin. This murderous terrorist should have been terminated a long, long time ago. And please continue the good work and build the security fence." Kuno, Mar. 25, 2004