RRR – Sustainable Israel-Palestine Conflict Resolution

I teach conflict resolution and soft skills including visionary leadership, communication and positive attitude for close to 25 years. I always asked myself repeatedly the same question: with this huge body of knowledge how is it that no one has been able to impact global conflicts?

Perhaps the world of business and interpersonal relationships is simpler. There are no historical baggages from centuries passed on from Father to son or mother to daughter, there are no religious dilemmas of who among us is the chosen one bound to Green Paradises the rest facing some sort of a hell.

However I tried my luck on an app called clubhouse which is all about audio chat in mostly triggering rooms and I came across a lot of people from both sides of the fence so I experimented with many conflict resolution models trying empathy, listening skills, paraphrasing, emotional support, you name it. I was not able to influence a lot of people but then that was to be expected as explained above, centuries of societal programming is bound to have an effect. While the Israel Palestine conflict does not span over centuries (Abrahamic religious conflicts span longer) it does at least involves 2 to 3 generations. Which is something that cannot be easily discounted when speaking of a solution because there is a lot of baggage on both sides and each has their own, and I must say, very believable justifications.

So what does one do in such a situation to resolve what appears to be unresolvable?

RRR – my 2 cents

Sounds like some fancy management mnemonic but it’s a little beyond, and it is based on almost a year of active experience in listening to both sides which wasn’t always pleasant or cordial especially on the Palestinian side. The three Rs cannot be any simpler than recognise, respect and reap rewards.

1 Recognize

The first step for both parties is to recognise their right to freedom and existence leaving behind historically modified versions of the same reality or UN resolutions for that matter to justify their stance and instead focus on the benefits of recognising and how it impacts their combined future. It takes to two to tango right? Practically speaking I would expect the Palestinians to recognise the existence of Israel in its current form without referring to the past or self perceived moral and ethical constructs. I would expect the same of Israelis so they also recognise Palestine as a legitimate state. Of course as part of this recognition I would expect a mutually acceptable definition of boundaries.

2 Respect

Recognition is worthless if it is not embedded in respect. And both parties should promote respect for the other party in their respective territories. I have noted that quite frankly antisemitism is rather prevalent in Palestinian discussions disguised in many forms or sometimes plain too, I am sure there are many in Israel who do not like Palestinians either. However the internationally recognised and respected notions related to antisemitism need to be applied by the Palestinians out of respect if nothing else for what the Jewish people suffered specially in the holocaust. If somehow this apparently extremely difficult objective is achieved I am pretty sure the Israeli side will reciprocate.

3 Reap Rewards

This is the fun part of this hypothetical peace and conflict resolution model. Assuming the herculean tasks of recognition and respect are achieved by both parties we will see mutual coexistence which in simple terms will translate to cooperation and collaboration. Hence I can imagine cheap labour force coming from the Palestinian side helping out the Israelies in their commercial ventures. At the same time I foresee Israeli technology and brain power helping out the Palestinians with cutting edge solutions in governance, energy, technology, environment, healthcare, policing and education.

If you think about it and imagine the first two Rs taking place in our lifetime, we would likely see a positive revolution between two people who never saw eye to eye for a needlessly long time.

Now the practical part. I think being neutral and emphatic towards both sides I can play matchmaker. But then I am not Jewish nor am I anywhere near the stereotypes of a typical Muslim. I am also an Asian. All this makes my acceptibility a bit of a challenge, you can guess from the way I put it that I must be an optimist which thankfully I am and I wish more followed suit.

Happiness and love are states of mind we can all choose to be in. Hatred and anger are also states of mind that for whatever reason we can choose to be in too. As people or communities. I would always choose and promote happiness, for obvious reasons.


Published by CrystalHeartKazmi

Peace and love activist for the world

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