Refugees / Identity Issues:

Options for Resolving Identity Issues

Some argue that questions of historical narrative simply have no place in final-status negotiations. Likewise, Israeli and Palestinian leaders have largely deferred identity issues in negotiations in order to address more practical concerns. There is little political will to address issues of rights and responsibility, and the parties may have better success in resolving them in a post-conflict environment. On the other hand, resolving the issues now could build trust for tackling other issues, while deferring identity issues could weaken an agreement in the long-term and allow hatred of the other side to fester. Ultimately, to achieve an agreement, compromises will have to be made by both sides. But Israelis and Palestinians have expressed that an effective response to identity issues could allow more flexibility on the practical issues of the conflict.

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