There is no easy path forward or consensus on what should be done after the fighting ends.
Israel and Hamas continue indirect talks on a cease-fire, but the gap between the sides remains wide, especially on two issues: the fate of Hamas leaders in Gaza and the length of any pause in fighting.
The Times Opinion section reached out to thinkers, political leaders and experts to present their visions on how to achieve lasting peace in the region. Here are three excerpts from the collection of 10 essays:
In “The Answer Lies With Biden,” Bernard Avishai and Ezzedine Fishere argue that the United States needs to use its power and prestige to push for a two-state solution:
Mr. Biden enjoys great moral prestige in an Israel deeply skeptical of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He also has credibility with Arab leaders and can make a good-faith overture to the Palestinian street because, in spite of anti-American sentiment, all understand that the United States is the only power Israel depends on and that America has more leverage than ever to induce productive negotiations. A strong U.S. commitment to two states — one that entails a demand for a settlement freeze — would almost certainly force the dissolution of Mr. Netanyahu’s government, since it rests on the support of religious parties that represent the settler movement. Rejecting American diplomatic leadership in favor of continued settlements would probably lead to the withdrawal of centrists from his unity cabinet.
In “Build a Culture of Peace,” Sulaiman Khatib and Avner Wishnitzer, co-founders of Combatants for Peace, write:
Peacemaking must be enveloped in a comprehensive project of rehumanization: a widespread process to reverse the effects of oppression, violence and dehumanization of the other, which have been fueling one another for decades.
This common ground must be premised on the mutual affirmation that both peoples have a past and a future in this land and that none of them should be subject to the violence or oppression of the other. Rehumanization is, in other words, a project of liberation.
In “Let Palestinians Decide,” Diana Buttu, a lawyer and former adviser to P.L.O. negotiators, writes:
The future of Gaza — like that of the West Bank — is for Palestinians to decide. That is the essence of self-determination. The international community must not continue to place Israel first, as has been done for decades. It cannot try to seek convenient leaders as partners or try to enter yet another long-term arrangement.
Palestinians must live freely, without the faintest sense of an Israeli noose around our necks. Whatever immediate arrangements are put in place after Israel’s assault on Gaza ends must be coupled with an end to Israel’s regime of oppression and be accompanied by measures to hold Israel to account for any war crimes it has committed. Any solution that does not include this will fail.
In a word, Palestinians demand one thing: freedom.
Questions for Writing and Discussion
Share these excerpts with students and then invite them to choose one or more essays to respond to, either by writing a letter back to the author or by selecting three quotes that made an impression and explaining why. Some things to consider:
What did you learn from these voices and perspectives? How do they help you to better understand and imagine paths forward toward peace and justice?
Which of their words do you most hope leaders in Israel, Gaza and around the world heed in the days and months ahead?
What questions do you still have about possible resolutions to the war and the decades-long conflict between Palestinians and Israelis?
We have selected various articles, podcast episodes and essays from The Times and other news outlets for students interested in reading different points of view as they research this issue further.