A time for change?

The Hist discuss the pros and cons of the ‘two-state solution’ between Israel and Palestine

Photo Credit: Joe McCallion/Trinity News

Last night’s Hist debate on whether or not the two state solution between Israel and Palestine should be abandoned promised to be an intense one, and it certainly did not disappoint. After going through the usual society business, everyone settled down to listen to what was an intriguing debate.

The proposition argued that a two state solution was simply impossible, as it had failed to work over the past number of decades. In turn, both Palestine and Israel suffered as a result of this. Two reasons outlined repeatedly were the settlement of Israeli citizens on Palestinian land, and also the actions of the Israeli government against Palestine.

Many alternatives were given in an attempt to suggest a solution to the current situation, such as a one state solution involving the creation of a one-state Palestine or a one-state Israel, and even a three state solution, with Jordan and Egypt intervening.

Hamas was also outlined by the opposition as a cause of division and tension between the two states, with the chamber reacting audibly when one speaker said that the Arab state wanted to see the destruction of Judaism.

It was also mentioned that the two state solution should not be abandoned because it had not been properly attempted yet. The harrowing details of the reality of the fighting and how it affects those involved was also heard.

These chilling facts were an example of what could happen if a one state solution was pursued, as the war crimes which the IDF commit were explained. It was particularly heart-wrenching to hear the full extent of the conflict, and for me, it is hard to comprehend for just how long it has continued.

The final speaker of the night after both sides had finished giving their cases was the chairman, guest speaker Daniel Clifford of UCD. He started by explaining that he personally did not think even those on the same side would agree with each other, which each individual giving an utterly different and sometimes conflicting reason as to why the motion should be accepted or rejected.

Finally, he gave his opinion that neither side would work, because unfortunately, the unrest between Palestine and Israel would continue for a long time yet. The only way, he believed, for any solution to be reached, would be for the US to place sanctions on Israel, as he explained to the house that what Israel feared the most was a lack of recognition from Western countries. Without this, no solution could ever be reached.

Though the conflict between Israel and Palestine is a difficult and complex issue, it’s one I try  my best to understand. This debate helped me to gain some insight into its causes, particularly the historical background of the fighting, of which I didn’t have a great deal of knowledge.

The speakers were clearly well researched on the issue. It was certainly tense at times, which was expected given such a controversial issue. And although a solution may not have been reached after the two hours, it definitely proved to be an interesting, captivating, and at times shocking event.