The dialectical approach is an ever-present route to a deeper understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian question. It seems to me that this approach becomes increasingly attractive and fruitful with the passage of time – that is, with each passing decade. We may even add that its revelations (I use that term consciously) are generationally packaged in a broad sense; which means that we have three sequential packages so far (that is, since 1948) to worry over.
There are indeed three dialectics, which intertwine, in the Israeli-Palestinian Question; and their intertwining is itself of a dialectical nature.
The first of these is what I will call the Occupation Dialectic -- the Territorial Dialectic, if you wish. Here, the struggle/confrontation/ hostilities/contradiction or thesis-antithesis conflict, now on and now off, revolves around historical rights to territory and unfettered settlement, self-determination, settlement
The second is the Conversation (or Voice) Dialectic. Issues here are couched in highly emotive historical, cultural and religious terms. Each side invokes history, and even chronology, in support of its arguments. The Palestinians want their own independent state, with Jerusalem included. The Israelis want secure borders, in which its citizens are safe from remotely or otherwise instigated and organized attacks -- by PLO originally and Hizbollah and the like now. The Palestinians view the Israelis as an illegitimate occupying force. Israelis insist there is nowhere they are going,
The third is the Action (or Power) Dialectic. Technology, particularly the technology of war and of surveillance, plays a key role here – and may yet be the decider, the Endgame factor. And the game may not quite end in the way the protagonists typically frame the end.
[First written on January 5, 2009. To be expanded upon]