The delegates of Palestine and Israel to the General Assembly Third Committee displayed an unprecedented desire for cooperation. “Ancient history isn’t the best guide to policies of the 21st century” the Palestinian delegate said, signaling a willingness to look past historical minutiae in favor of a peaceful solution.
In speaking with Al Jazeera, both sides agreed that a two-state solution with reciprocal protections for Palestinian and Jewish minorities who chose to stay was the only way forward. While Israel asserted that the Jewish people were the first to settle the region, the Palestinians were equally entitled to the status of indigenous peoples.
Given the conservative climate of Netanyahu’s Israel is it unclear to what extent this position reflects the greater will of the Israeli people. In the wake of the Security Council’s resolution on Israeli settlements, the about-face on the two state solution comes as something of a shock to those who have studied the Israel-Palestine conflict.