is there a solution to the Israel/Palestine Problem? There is so much history and so much hatred built up. Acts of overt terrorism, including attacks on civilian targets, women, children, etc. are not justifable. The Israelis righfully point out that they have a right to defend themselves, their homes and families and should be able to expect to live in peace and peaceful harmony with their neighbors.
At the same time, we can appreciate that people who have no hope, no ability to build up their community and family in peace, who are living in what many consdier to be inhumane conditions in crowded camps, feel like they have no option, nothing to lose and need to make their voices heard when other means have not succeeded. This is the breeding ground for warfare and terrorism on the other side.
A way must be found that provides the Paletinian people a way to build up their lives, their families, their gainful employment, and their communities, to have access to food, water, medical support, power and the ability to themselves live in peace.
When any group is deprived of sufficient means of support, anywhere in the world, we see gangs arise that seize control and power through armed force, and they can terrorize both the local population and those that are the cause of the destitution.
If we look at a map of Palestine from the pre-UN mandate to settle the Jewish people there, the land was in fact mostly occupied by Palestinian people. Over the years, through mass migrations, fear, wars and eventually continued encroachment, the Palestininian people are relegated to being crushed together in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, with increased Israeli settlements in the West bank slowly wresting land and control away from the remaining Palestinians there. Over the last 60 years or more there has been an increasing control by Israel over more of the land, and control of the resources.
A "two state" solution has been proposed, but despite people of good will on both sides of the situation trying to find a way to implement it, it has not occurred. Therefore the extremists, hardliners in each camp, justify another cycle and round of violence.
Mass destruction on either side provokes a new generation of fear, hatred and violence, and until this cycle of violence can be defused, the conflict will see no end.
We see signs that the people could indeed live together and find ways to support one another and create harmony in what is essentially one land. The classical music conductor Daniel Barenboim started the East West Orchestra, bringing together both Israeli and Palestinian young people to make music together and find their harmony. It works.
Can other such outreach be developed to begin, at least in a modest way, to defuse the fear and hatred and see how people can treat each other with respect, humanity and good will. In the end, it is clear that recurring rounds of violence, terrorism, reprisals, attacks only breeds more violence.
In the heat of the crisis, it is obviously not feasible or possible to ask either side to "give up". They will fight, they will bomb, they will destroy, and the mass of civilians, on both sides will suffer the consequences. Where are the statesmen who can hold the vision of peace and goodwill and find a way forward for the future?

Author's Bio: 

Santosh has been studying Sri Aurobindo's writings since 1971 and has a daily blog at and podcast at He is author of 17 books and is editor-in-chief at Lotus Press. He is president of Institute for Wholistic Education, a non-profit focused on integrating spirituality into daily life.