Could the Israel-Hamas War Lead to Peace?
It is hard to see anything good coming from the current spasm of violence between Israel and Hamas. But this tragedy, which has forced both Israelis and Palestinians to stare into the abyss, might prove to be a turning point that will clear the path for a lasting peace.
WASHINGTON, DC – Hamas’s murderous raid into southern Israel on October 7 triggered a new round of horrific bloodshed in the Middle East. Even if Israel’s military campaign in response to the atrocities succeeds in defanging Hamas, it will leave behind a Gazan population that is reeling, suffering, and angry. Moreover, the war will damage Israel’s relations with the broader Palestinian community and their Arab brethren throughout the region. Picking up the pieces will take quite some time.
It is hard to see any silver lining in this dreadful bout of violence. Nonetheless, it is worth considering whether the shock caused by the war could push the seemingly intractable Israel-Palestine conflict toward an eventual resolution. Might this tragedy, which has forced both Israelis and Palestinians to stare into the abyss, prove to be a turning point that will clear the path toward a lasting peace?
Taking this possibility seriously, and gazing beyond the horizon more generally, is not just an exercise in wishful thinking. Exploring how the current conflagration could set the stage for peace can help provide a roadmap for Israelis, Palestinians, and the international community to follow after the dust has settled.