There’s an odd duplicity when it comes to peace. When absent in the face of war, peace feels like a dream made impossible by unforgivable violence. In better times, peace is little more than an unsung truth of day-to-day life, a powerful reality that silently flourishes.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been intermittently shedding blood for decades; it is easily one of the most persistent and intractable global conflicts of modern time. Every gory image that passes before our eyes makes the dream of peace feel ever more distant. People around the world have watched this conflict for so long that most have long since made up their minds about whose fault it is—or, worse, about whether or not they should even care anymore. Stories of settlements, kidnappings, apartheid, bomb strikes—they may provide emotional fodder for arguments about winners and losers for a day, a month, or years, depending on how long a grudge borne of injustice can last. But for many watchers, all these incidents melt into a long, painful continuum of chaos that feels impenetrable. The fear is that we’re locked into a never-ending story that will never have a happy ending.
With feelings so hurt, it’s hard to see a way out. But peace is real. Peace can still happen. Peace is worth hoping for. Peace is the only thing that soothes pain on all sides. Peace is the only way that everyone really wins.