Bombs are once again flying across the Israel-Gaza border in both directions, leaving death, injury and destruction on both sides. This same kind of action happened almost exactly 4 years ago, and I wrote about it then.
It's easy to play the blame game in this situation, and I'm not going there. As far as I'm concerned there is enough blame to go around, and playing that game is a key element of the death spiral. In my opinion, this death spiral has no end.
No end, that is, until peace-loving people in the region decide to try something very, very different. The primary players in this "something different" have to be individuals, not organizations. And it can't just be the people in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza; others in the region need to be involved. Remember, I said peace-loving people, not haters or terrorists or militants on any side. And I specifically said people, not organizations, because for the past 64 years these organizations have failed to find a resolution to the conflict.
What is needed is a Peace Spring movement, in some ways similar, and directly related to the on-going Arab Spring. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict affects everyone in the Middle East (and beyond), and so everyone in the region needs to be part of the resolution. Imagine hundreds of thousands or millions of people in the streets of Israel, the West Bank, Gaza, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and beyond demonstrating for peace. And not just peace in general, but a lasting peace based on specific principles (see The People's Voice and the Geneva Accord for examples). Democratic rule means that governments listen to citizens.
People power is needed to resolve this conflict because organizations such as the State of Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Hamas, Fatah, the United States, the United Nations, religious sects and others are too entrenched in their own ideologies to participate in something different. People power is messy business, and the key will be for leaders to emerge who can provide coordinated focus and direction, find bridges between conflicting ideas and opinions, and move the process forward.
If this sounds far out, it is. But business as usual is not acceptable. The people in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank are locked in a death spiral, and every flare up is more dangerous because each time the weapons are larger, more sophisticated, and more deadly.
Imagine, if you can, a new Middle East, where everyone is a partner in a movement that benefits everyone. Where the rising tide lifts all boats. The people in the region, and their descendants, deserve no less.