Israel: The Ottoman path to peace

Ynetnews: Op-ed: Any Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement will endure only if it accommodates legitimate historical claims

The nation state is a relatively recent phenomenon in the Middle East – and with good reason: It is highly unsuited to the patchwork of religious and linguistic groups that populate the region. The time has come to recognize this reality and to build an Israel and a Palestine beyond the confines of European political convention.

The intractability of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is in no small measure owed to the nation-state being unable to separate sovereignty from self-determination. This conflation renders the legitimate aspirations of different communities impossible to reconcile. Jews’ aspirations to reside in Judea and Samaria are deemed unviable, even though they are historically more grounded than those of Jews to live in Eilat and Tel-Aviv. Meanwhile, Palestinians displaced in the Independence War of 1948 are denied residence rights in Israel automatically granted to Jews hailing from California or Australia. Ignoring these aspirations and grievances for the sake of building conventional nation-states will backfire. Peace agreements only endure when they accommodate legitimate historical claims.

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