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In the 20th Century western culture (Judeo-Christian) – represented by Jews who had been refugees for close to two thousand years and returned to their homeland, and Middle Eastern culture (Arab-Muslim) that had ruled the Middle East for an extended period – represented by Palestinians, came face-to-face. This was a very deep and intensive encounter between the two cultures, which unfortunately has taken a very violent path that today presents serious perils to humanity as a whole. Most of the energies of those involved emotionally or practically in the conflict, are invested in hostile clashes, mutual recriminations, self protection and self justifications.

After about 70 years of violence in the course of the Israeli-Palestinian national conflict (1920-1991), a conflict that sits at the heart of the problems facing the Middle East, the two sides have experienced about 20 years of negotiations, parallel to ongoing violence. The only thing that this extended period of negotiations has achieved is an intensification of the violence and the suffering of both sides. In light of this reality, all those who believe in continuing with the direction set forth by negotiations – a Two-State Solution, must answer the question – How many additional casualties, what higher level of suffering and how many new refugees are necessary, in order to understand that this path should be abandoned? On the other hand, those who are objecting to the above solution need to suggest an alternative that will provide the sides with a better future.

The only way to arrive at a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a solution that will make it possible to channel all the energy and resources invested today in the conflict and re-direct them towards rehabilitation, development and prosperity, is to get high enough above the conflicting narratives, to view the conflict in a better perspective that is afforded by examining the long-term history of the Holy Land. Only from this perspective can one see the real roots of the conflict. Only on the basis of the genuine roots of conflict, can one build a creative, just and lasting peace in the Holy Land. Moreover, from such a better-informed perspective, it is possible to create common ground for a Jewish-Christian-Moslem Culture that can move humankind forward towards unprecedented prosperity.

The Alternative solution – The Engagement:

As the idea of a bi-national state, that is suggested as the alternative for the two-state solution, proved itself as problematic in other places, the remaining solution is a very surprising one that initially may appear as a fantasy – the engagement of the parties to the conflict to a single nation. This amazing idea, that is presumably very naive and chance-less, is supported by a series of studies about the identity of the Palestinians as detailed further on.

The sharp deterioration that the Palestinian leadership brought upon the Palestinian public, including the situation of many of its most dedicated people, combined with the high level of corruption that is attributed to this leadership and with the phenomena of the Arab spring, all contrasted by the background of Israel being a regional island of freedom, prosperity and stability, prepare the ground for the Palestinian public to the realization of the proposed solution. However, these are insufficient enabler for the proposed solution, definitely for the Jewish side.

Here is where the said series of studies  get into the picture. A very large anthropological study, various  genetic studies, a demographic-historical research and a historical-geographical one were published in the 21st century and are detialed in the book "Brother shall not Lift Sword Against Brother" as well as  in brief in The Engagement booklet. All these studies reinforce an earlier work of David Ben-Gurion (the first prime minister of Israel) and others, in their very surprising finding:

a solid majority of the Palestinians (80%-90%) are descendants of People of Israel who remained in the country following the destruction of the Second Jewish Temple. The ancestors of most of the Palestinians were forced to convert, mainly to Islam.

When it becomes clear that the parties to the conflict are really blood-brothers, that usually are not aware of this situation, it makes self-evident that the continuation of the conflict is a hopeless stupidity and is an outrageous unjust, that the only reason for its existence is the ignorance about the real identity of the Palestinians. All the above lead to one clear conclusion:

To break the deadlock in the Holy Land, a just and lasting solution is required – by the return of the majority of the Palestinians to the people of Israel – an extremely challenging process of an engagement of peace between the Palestinians and the Jews west of the Jordan River.  This process will form a one state for one people – The People of Israel, without forcing any religious conversion (as detailed in The Engagement Pamphlet which is referred to later on).

The above will not, however, complete the required change in the Middle East. The stormy present in the Arab world, even after it will settle down to some extent, is incapable of solving the problems existing there. These problems are much deeper than a change of regime or a change of a ruler, which may even worsen the situation. The important use of Facebook will not guaranty, by itself alone, that the contemporary Arab world will desert its negative contribution to humanity on the path to terror, destruction, violence and threat to world freedom, done in the pretense of the will to renew the glory of the Muslim Caliphate.  The use of Facebook will not enable, by itself, the Arab world to bring a positive contribution to humanity, like the Muslim Caliphate brought in the period of its glory following its beginning, a contribution that shined above the rest of humanity. The removal of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict form the regional and world agenda, followed by shutting down the flames of hatred against Israel, will enable the united people of Israel to resume its historical role as a light to the nations, and collaborate with the rest of the nations of the region in moving the Middle East to the future they aspire to. In particular, in the current situation created in Iran as a result of the sanctions, its leadership will look for any respectable ladder it may use, to get down from the high tree of nuclear weapon they climbed upon. A respectable and just solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, based on a concept used in Iran, where a Muslim must not be Arab, can provide the Iranian leadership, the required excuse.

In order to briefly read more about The Engagement Peace Plan, choose:

The Engagement group in Facebook

New:

An interview by Lowell Gellin for a NY Jewish TV, from August 2012

A press conference of The Engagement Movement from March 2012

Jewish signs among the Palestinians:

An interview by Christine Darg

An interview of Tova Raz on her new book by David Grossman in MENSCHlife