On the last Tuesday of January 2020, President Trump proudly presented his ‘Vision of Peace’. A concept for peace for the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine. The masterplan that took his son-in-law years to construct and would finally make an end to one of the most complicated conflicts in the world. Israel/Palestine.
The end results? A plan for a two-state solution with conditions for a Palestinian state. Claiming de Jordan Valley and settlements as Israeli territory and economical injections for the new Palestinian state to become self-dependent in the long run. The bonus is a tunnel connecting the West-Bank and Gaza.
With the Israeli Prime minister Netanyahu next to his side, the mightiest man of the USA presented the masterplan. The creation of two states and investments should be the ingredients that would miraculously lead to a happily ever after for two societies that have to deal daily with violence and unsafety. The deeply rooted conflict that has been part of the life of generations will be solved by this masterplan. A plan made on a desk in the USA. As you could guess, a story that will succeed in fairytales only.
It’s no surprise that the plan is internationally received with raised eyebrows. Because, if you look closely, the real success of the plan is about the power of the players of the game. A better quality of life for the citizens involved comes second. The success of the plan for true peace is highly doubtful, not to say impossible.
But there’s one more important point about the plan that causes raised eyebrows. The ‘Vision of Peace’ is a plan focusing mainly on the symptoms that keep the conflict alive. In fact, the main struggle for peace is skipped. It’s not even part of the plan.
The core concept
The core of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict lies deeper than defining borders of separate states. As a matter of fact, the one-or-two states discussion is a symptom of societies in search of safety and stability. Jewish, Israeli, Palestinian and all others: they all share on some level the feeling of being unwanted and unsafe. I’m talking about a psychological orientation of safety now. This is not about the safety translated into practical terms like the high-tech iron dome or any other form of protection and defence.
If any peace plan of the Israel/Palestinian conflict will become a success, it has to focus on the psychological orientation of safety of both societies. In case you might think this is impossible because the conflict is too complicated, you are highly wrong. There are multiple examples showing that complicated conflicts can be overcome. The most impressive one is the recovering of Rwanda. The country that had to deal with genocide in 1994. In 100 days over 1 million citizens have been killed in the African country. With an intense program of reconciliation and social re-engineering, Rwanda provides safety for both ethnic groups in a short period of time after the genocide.
Fairytale of another galaxy
What is needed for that? Why is the Israel/Palestinian conflict still going on? Simply because the leaders of Israel, Palestine and all other ones involved never had the focus on the psychological concept of safety. So far, the main interest has been the expansion of power.
Sadly in the current circumstances with leaders and parties covered in their own interests, corruption and landownership a ‘Vision for Peace’ is a fairytale of another galaxy. Meaning that it’s far away.
Symptom reduction from a desk in the USA will in not bring peace to Israel/ Palestine. In reality, no border will completely vanish the feeling of being under pressure and feeling unsafe. The true need in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is leadership focusing on the psychological concept of safety in their own communities. Unfortunately, those leaders are not presented at the moment.