CSDD Director Oded Haklai explores how conflict in the Middle East could be resolved in this OpEd in the Toronto Star on November 17, 2023: "Middle East peace: An unanticipated path amidst a crisis".
From the article:
"As the Israel-Hamas war rages on, reasons for hope are hard to find. The civilian death toll is rising and the destruction perturbing. Prospects for a resolution seem remote. In the midst of the gloom, it is worth remembering that monumental crises carry potential to yield unanticipated consequences that can reshape the contours of history.
Not many would have predicted in 1989, when the Palestinian intefadeh (uprising) shifted to more violent modes and the Israeli minister of defence ordered troops to “break their bones,” that several years later, Israel would recognize the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO leader Yasser Arafat would shake hands on the lawn of the White House and Israel and the Palestinians would embark on a peace process that at least initially was widely endorsed by both peoples.
Likewise, it would have been hard to imagine at the peak of the second intefadeh in 2002 that three years later, Israel would withdraw its entire civilian population and military from the Gaza Strip and northern parts of the West Bank. The wave of Palestinian suicide bombing inside Israel, followed by Israel’s Operation Defensive Shield in which Israel reoccupied parts of the West Bank and Gaza, hardly signalled that further territorial withdrawals were forthcoming.
An important attribute of major brutal crises is that they expose the failure of policies that were intended to avert them in the first place, thereby compelling policymakers to reassess their assumptions.
To be sure, reactions to a crisis can also involve a hardening of lines. And yet, they also provide opportunities if guided by careful and reasoned analysis..."