"I believe that a wondrous generation of Jews will spring into existence. The Maccabeans will rise again. Let me repeat once more my opening words: The Jews who wish for a State will have it. We shall live at last as free men on our own soil, and die peacefully in our own homes. The world will be freed by our liberty, enriched by our wealth, magnified by our greatness. And whatever we attempt there to accomplish for our own welfare, will react powerfully and beneficially for the good of humanity."
Theodore Herzl, concluding words of The Jewish State, 1896.
‘Jewish homeland’ was first formally conceived by the Austro-Hungarian journalist, Theodore Hertzl, who is also the father of Zionism. Even though Israel was established more than 40 years after his death, he was indefatigable and had a great deal to do with its creation. His pamphlet, titled Der Judenstaat (The Jewish State), advocated establishing a Jewish state in Palestine.
A brief history of the subject dating back to the nineteenth century will aid in acquiring a better understanding of the situation.
Following the end of World War I, the British gained control of the territory, and a mandate was issued by the League of Nations which ratified the establishment of a Jewish homeland, in 1918. Between 1920 and 1939, the Jewish population grew significantly which resulted in the growth of Jewish land ownership and eviction of Palestinian labourers. Consequently, tensions grew into sectarian conflict between Jews and Arabs.
After the end of the Second World War, the newly founded United Nations formed a committee to devise the Partition Plan which neither side was satisfied with. The Jews were unhappy about giving up Jerusalem, and the Arabs objected to recognizing the rights of the Jews in Palestine. After the cessation of the Arab Israeli war and the Six Days war, Israel emerged victorious and annexed territories beyond the proposed borders. The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) was formed in 1964 with the objective to liberate Palestine, using violence. Meanwhile, the Jews settled illegally in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem.
In spite of a long-term peace process,there has been no final peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. The Oslo Accords of 1993–1995 took the Palestinians one step closer to achieving the dream of having two states, but even until today a part of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip remain under Israeli occupation.
To establish cordial relations, Israel and Palestine need to recognize each other’s rights. Any proposed solution, such as the zero-state solution, the two-state solution, or the one-state solution can only be successful when the two countries are willing to compromise.
It’s similar to the India-Pakistan conflict over the disputed area of Kashmir. Both the countries have gone to war several times to obtain control over the disputed territory and a hostile environment characterized by tensions and unresolved grievances continues to exist.
Some major issues that have acted as barriers delaying further progress are water rights, security, land ownership, illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, control of Jerusalem, Palestinian freedom of movement, and the Palestinian right of return. Israeli-Palestinian water relations are strained because of the three main shared sources of water-
The Jordan River basin, the Coastal Aquifer and the Mountain aquifer are. Israel, however, has imposed restrictions on Palestinian water usage by mandating them to get permission before undertaking any water-development projects, for example, drilling wells. Between 1967 and 1989, 36 additional wells were constructed in Israeli settlements on the West Bank, despite the fact that Palestinians were seldom authorised. A Palestinian also paid three times as much for water as a Jew in a settlement.
Furthermore, accessibility to hotly contested areas is restricted and tourism has been hampered because of the conflict's violence. Tourist attractions that are historically, culturally, and religiously rich and known worldwide have been a topic of discussion in several global summits on security issues and human rights.
According to a number of polls in 2007, the Israelis and Palestinians preferred brokering a two-state solution involving the establishment of a sovereign state for the Jews alongside a Palestinian state over any other solution in expectation of resolving the conflict. This is mostly due to the fact that a one-state solution is more of an outcome than a solution. According to them, the one state solution is predominantly flawed because it facilitates a merger/a marriage, while the actual requirement is of a separation/ a divorce.
Palestinians also substantially object to the one-state solution since becoming citizens of a state that has systematically humiliated and persecuted them for ages would be viewed as national betrayal/submission. They also expect to be subjected to second-class treatment as they are well aware of the discrimination against the Israeli Arabs.
However, in recent years, Palestinians seem to acknowledge the shortcomings of the two-state solution. Uncompromising Israeli laws, unsuccessful peace process, and the incompetent government of Palestine have influnced the Palestinians (especially the residents of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank) to apostatize the two-state solution. The Palestinian side has been fractured by the conflict between two major factions: Hamas, a newer entity in the Palestinian electoral process has emerged as not only a challenger to the erstwhile dominant Fatah, but also runs parallel as a militant organisation operating out of the the lands of Palestine Hamas has never accepted the two-state solution or any proposal that recognizes Israel as a country. Therefore it settles for uneasy peace till Palestinians feel strong enough to revolt.
The future for Palestine is uncertain, even after UN recognition, growing Israeli occupation and lack of international intervention serves as a reminder that Palestine as a free sovereign has a long way to go. Conflict has been the norm in recent years in the Middle East, and any peaceful solution to the Israel-Palestine conundrum, if it can be called so, seems like a distant dream since both western and other middle eastern influences coupled with the very volatile situation regarding both Hamas and ISIL (Daesh) makes it tough for the people of Palestine to ever find peace.
The best and most peaceful solution would be to move back to the UN resolution granting an east and west Palestine which not only granted both states equal land but also give the UN equal say in such a situation.
Another insight into it would be to make sure that the arms race, reminiscent of the one during the cold war, but with a larger number of countries puts Palestine on the backfoot since it has no land and little to no foreign funding to ever be part of it, making it not only a sitting duck but also an easy target in the advent of a nuclear war. With Iran letting go of IAEA regulations, not only does this seem a part of the future but it also makes life as a whole worthless in the Middle East. Therefore, the only way there's a longer solution to the Israel Palestine problem is if there is a larger solution to this arms race in the Middle East.
“Israel now faces a serious conundrum since it has to choose between being Jewish, being a state, and being democratic; at any given moment it can only have two of three options, it simply cannot have all three.” (Yousef, A. Y. (2012). The One State Solution An Alternative Vision for Ending The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. CUNY Academic Works.)