Israel's Everlasting Dilemma
Back in 2013, during a month-long exchange at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, my professor laid out for us what is often considered the fundamental dilemma that has for decades obstructed the pathway towards a peaceful, two-state resolution between Israel and Palestine.
The dilemma is complex, but extremely helpful for understanding the conflict — at least from an Israeli perspective.* It goes something like this:
The state of Israel wants three things: i) to be a Jewish state, ii) to be a democracy, and iii) to maintain control of the occupied territories (the West Bank and Gaza Strip). These three ‘things’, however, are in conflict — choosing any two of them will make the third impossible.