Thinking aloud about the Israel Palestine situation.
What some or all Israelis want:
- Security within recognised borders.
- To be able to maintain a homeland for jews the world over where they can be free of persecution.
- Some also want to annex some territory within the West Bank & Gaza.
- To have Jerusalem as their capital.
What some or all of the Palestinians want:
- A viable nation state free from foreign control.
- The opportunity for economic development.
- To remove the settlements from the West Bank.
- To return to properties that their families lost in the numerous Arab-Israeli wars.
- For Jerusalem to be their capital.
- To Expel the Jews from Israel.
- To establish an Islamic state.
Some of the wishes are entirely reasonable such as the first three.
In the long term what is up for negotiation therefore is the status of Jerusalem and the 'right of return'. Israel cannot accept a full right of return of the children and grandchildren of those who left 60 years ago, because the vast increase in the Palestinian population in the last 60 years would mean that Israel would cease to be a Jewish state and the recent history of Jews in Arab countries is not encouraging. However given that for most Palestinians there isn't any sentimental value to properties they have never seen so it is the value of the properties that matters. So carry out a survey of who owned what in 1948 and 1967 and offer their descendants twice the market value* of the properties in return for renouncing their claims.
Jerusalem is a trickier problem to solve because if it's importance to both communities. Partitioning the city isn't an appealing prospect to anyone, perhaps it could be made into a stand alone entity in which both sides share sovereignty like Spain and France do in Andorra.
* The best way of getting the money for this is from the USA. Lame duck presidents love sorting out the region, so the Israelis and Palestinians should make the arrangements themselves and then let the US president take the kudos for it.